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Help document the Drexel community’s experiences during COVID-19

Pandemic Stories: Drexel's COVID-19 Documentation Project

The Drexel University Archives is seeking volunteers to help record how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the University community. If you are a Drexel student, faculty or staff member, or alum, we want to hear about your experiences during this historic event. We hope to collect responses from a broad range of participants to help us tell future generations about how COVID-19 affected the Drexel community.

There are many different ways you can record your experiences, including (but not limited to):

  • Write about a single moment or keep a journal
  • Write a poem or short story
  • Record voice memos
  • Take photos or videos of your neighborhood
  • Combine different media to create your own unique digital submission

We are seeking volunteers to participate in one (or both) of the following ways:

  • Send us a one-time donation of text documents, photographs, videos, and/or audio you have produced that is related to your experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic or Drexel's responses to it.
  • Respond to periodic (approximately monthly) prompts that ask more specific questions about how COVID-19 has affected your life, particularly your involvement with Drexel University.

All participants will be asked to fill out and sign a Drexel University Archives deposit agreement, authorizing the Drexel University Archives to preserve and share their contributions. You will retain copyright of your work. Your contribution will become part of the University Archives’ permanent collections and will be available for members of the public to view unless you request that the material be temporarily restricted.

Submission guidelines

  • This documentation project is open to Drexel students, faculty, staff, and alumni/ae. If you are not a member of the Drexel community, we would be happy to help you locate one of the many other projects documenting COVID-19 experiences.
  • You must be 18 years of age or older to submit material.
  • Digital submissions only at this time. Physical items may be accepted at a later date.
  • Only submit material created entirely by you. If you would like to refer or nominate material that you do not own, please email us.
  • Submissions will be available for research, and, in some cases, made available online. Please do not include any information—including identifying details about yourself or your friends and family—that you do not want to share publicly.
  • Do not submit any medical records about anyone—such as doctor’s notes, patient charts, or insurance records. You may choose to submit information about your own health experiences, but do not submit any personally identifiable health information about other people, including family members (ex: disclosing health conditions, diagnoses or treatments).
  • Follow all social distancing guidelines and other safety measures while self-documenting.
  • You retain ownership of and copyright of the material you submit.
  • Drexel University is not obligated to include your content in this project or to preserve it in perpetuity. We may decline, temporarily close, or redact submissions based on our collecting policy and legal and ethical concerns. (Redacting would mean permanently removing details, full sentences, or other content from a collection and making clear to researchers that we have done so.)
  • Accepted submissions will be deposited in the Drexel University Archives' digital collections and made available for public research use. You may choose to allow your work to be: 
    • openly available on the web
    • available without your name
    • available to individual researchers but not published online or
    • closed to researchers for a period of up to 5 years

How to submit materials


  • Fill out a Pandemic Stories Information Form, which asks for Drexel affiliation, the types of materials you plan to submit, and privacy preferences.
  • Sign and return a Drexel University Archives deposit agreement.
    • Print out the agreement or email archives@drexel.edu to request a physical copy. All donors are required to submit an original, signed copy of the form.
    • In the Title box near the top, enter “[Your name] Pandemic Stories Submission." Be sure to sign and date the agreement. Print your name, address, phone number and email address.
    • Scan the signed agreement (or take a photo of it with your phone) and email it to archives@drexel.edu. Please keep the original for your records.
  • Upon receipt of both forms, a member of the University Archives staff will contact you with details about how to submit your materials.

Accepted file formats and size limitations


  • Text documents: PDF or PDF/A (.pdf), MS Word (.doc, .docx), text (.txt)
  • Images: JPEG, TIFF (images shot on your smartphone should be fine)
  • Video: MOV, MP4, AVI (videos shot on your iPhone or Android device should be fine)
  • Audio: WAVE, AIFF, MP3
  • Each individual submission should be no more than 300MB (exceptions are possible for audio or video)

Still have questions? Please email us at archives@drexel.edu.