Tell your COVID-19 story and become part of the University Archives collection.

UCSB Library Special Research Collections is building a digital community archives collection comprised entirely of user-generated content related to the COVID-19 pandemic. UCSB students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to submit their own images, creative writing, social media posts, blog entries, video and audio files, etc., documenting their personal experiences during this life-altering global event. We will then store, maintain, and make accessible that data as a unique University Archives collection. Once the content has been processed, a digital exhibit will be accessible to the general public.

The quarantine has provided a unique opportunity for us to connect with each other and our campus community in a truly meaningful way. Actively engaging with one another by documenting and archiving our experiences in real time provides a much-needed space for catharsis under overwhelming circumstances. By preserving these shared experiences for posterity, our hope is to play an active part in the healing process as we rebuild and re-enter our lives post-COVID-19.

Please click here to fill out our form and submit your content.

The form is designed to help guide your thoughts but by no means is meant to limit your responses; be as creative and open as you wish. Submitting content on more than one occasion may also prove to be an interesting way to document your thoughts and feelings throughout the pandemic. Researchers and historians may come to learn how people changed points of view, what the current political climate looked like, or how we coped during quarantine life, for example. Documenting your story offers a unique perspective for future generations. Your story matters. 

Questions about submitting content:

How often/frequently can I submit? 

  • You may submit feedback and/or material as often as you like! There is no limitation on the number of times you choose to submit. If you are working on a photographic series or installments of a written story, for example, you may submit as you create or choose to submit all items at once when you are finished. It’s up to you! 

Are submissions anonymous?

  • Submissions can be anonymous if you choose this option in the form. 

What format should I use? 

  • We are accepting any format, so please feel free to create and submit content in whichever format you are most comfortable (pictures, links to your blog posts, digital prints of artwork, video, etc.). 
  • If you wish to submit material in analog form, please fill out the same submission form and email cforce@ucsb.edu with a description of your item(s). Please note that retrieval or delivery of any physical items will have to wait until it is safe to do so. 

What shouldn’t I submit?

  • Since the COVID-19 pandemic is a public health crisis, it is likely that your submissions might include the personal health information of yourself or others.  At the time of submission, you will be asked to agree to a Personal Health Information Agreement. It’s important that you not submit personally identifiable health information about another person or persons, or information that could allow a third party to identify other people. This information is legally protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Copyrighted or unoriginal content meaning anything of which you are not the original creator. Please do not submit links to news articles from websites or other online publications, for example, unless you are the original author of such work. The goal of this project is to collect original material from our campus community. We want to preserve your work, thoughts, and feelings. 

When should I submit?

  • This project is open-ended and will continue to collect materials as the situation evolves. Document your experience as long as you are able to. 

Support and Helpful Information

We are aware that many in our community are suffering financially, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We have resources to help you during this extraordinary time. Please visit our UCSB COVID-19 response webpage for a list of resources, including contact information for student Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at (805) 893-4411 and Academic and Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) at (905) 893-3318 for faculty and staff counseling services. 

If you have any questions about the project or your submissions, please contact Calli Force (cforce@ucsb.edu) or Matt Stahl (mstahl@ucsb.edu).

Illustrations of toilet paper rolls, Coronaviruses, protest signs, and other objects swirl in a downward spiral created by words spelling out in English the days of the week.

A selection from recent submissions to the archives.

Zine cover design by Rebecca Moreno
Image still from a moving image recording; two police officers stand in front of individuals with face masks on.
Image still from video "This Ethereal Plane," created by Lex Gilmore
Zine page with large words across the top that read "orange man" with cut-out images of Donald Trump and his erroneous quotes about Coronavirus.
Zine pages titled "Orange Man," created by Hailey O'Neil
Blocks of images include a person wearing face mask with the words "there is no return," a torn red heart, and scrabble letters spelling "anxiety."
Zine pages titled "There is no Return," created by Chloe Kim
A person in a blue shirt wears a medical facemask carved from wood that has an ornate, red fabric applique flower attached.
A wooden facemask from a series titled “Instrumentos de super-vivencia (Instruments of survival)," created by Elisa Ortega Montilla.
A poem titled "Spirits," written by Amanda Czarnecki
A poem titled "Spirits," written by Amanda Czarnecki