Your Story is North Carolina’s Story

Documenting the COVID-19 Pandemic

The State Archives of North Carolina collects, preserves, and provides public access to historically significant archival materials relating to North Carolina. We know that future researchers will want to learn about the ways in which this life-altering, worldwide coronavirus outbreak affected North Carolinians. Therefore, we are seeking original, first-person materials that document this pandemic – because Your Story is North Carolina’s Story.

The State Archives of North Carolina is interested in preserving and sharing stories from the COVID-19 era from people all around the state. There is still a long way to go in terms of dealing with and documenting this time in our lives, but we would like to hear from you NOW as we experience and navigate this crisis together. Larger scale projects may emerge from what we gather today and over the next several months.

Want to share your experience?

Here's what you need to know. Everything we collect needs to be something created by the person donating it. Examples of the types of material we hope to collect include, but are not limited to:

Personal Accounts

Personal Accounts

Journals, diaries, and reflections of how people’s lives have been impacted by COVID-19. Subjects can range from impacts on employment, leisure, social activities, education, businesses, relationships, mental and public health, civic activities, or religious activities.

Photographs

Photographs

Photographs documenting the effects of social distancing; shortages of supplies; healthcare workers; social media campaigns to boost community spirits, such as teddy bears in windows or chalk drawings on sidewalks; and empty sports arenas, churches, movie theaters, and other places for gathering; etc.

Audiovisual Materials

Audiovisual Materials

Audiovisual materials document the personal and economic impact including images and sound and film recordings such as home movies. These might include videos of life out in supermarkets, curbside pickup, downtowns with no one around, or short audio and/or video accounts recorded on a cell phone.

Ephemera (Miscellaneous Printed Material)

Ephemera (Miscellaneous Printed Material)

Ephemera, such as signage about store closures or shortages of supplies; documents received by mail that relate to the pandemic; modified take-out menus; home lesson plans; changes in store ads; event announcements; programs; invitations; and bulletins; etc.

Oral Histories

Oral Histories

Oral histories document an aspect of how COVID-19 has changed the lives and/or work of every North Carolinian. Special areas of focus may be healthcare, service industries, government services, law enforcement, and education, but we want to interview you about your specific experiences during this crisis.

PLEASE NOTE: We are not accepting oral histories conducted by outside groups or individuals at this time, but if you would like to submit a short audio or video account, please visit the Audiovisual Materials tab or web page for more information. 

To find out more about our oral history program or to express an interest in being interviewed remotely or in person at a later date, please contact our oral historian at ellen.brooks@ncdcr.gov.

Important Notes

North Carolina Connection: Items must have a strong connection to North Carolina or a North Carolinian to be accepted into our collection. We do not accept copies or material under copyright to people other than the donor. We do not accept materials that are duplicated in other repositories. Furthermore, by donating materials you are signing over copyright to the State Archives of North Carolina.

Save Non-Digital Items for Later: We can’t collect paper-based or non-digitized materials while we’re closed. We’re asking individuals to save those materials for now, but to submit information on them through our form so we can get back in touch when we’re ready to collect.

File Formats: If you can't create or send materials in the formats on the right, we may still be able to collect your items. Please let us know what formats your items are saved in. 

Artifacts: We can only collect archival materials, but the NC Museum of History will be collecting artifacts related to the pandemic.  Contact raelana.poteat@ncdcr.gov for information about donating objects to the museum.

Disclaimer: All donations are subject to review. Because of the overwhelming response to our request for material, and other considerations, we may not be able to accept all donations. If that is the case we will try to recommend another home for your material.

Other Limitations: We will accept material submitted by minors (under 18) as long as we have sign-off from a parent or guardian. We do not accept materials that may contain PII (Personally Identifiable Information), such as medical information; anything that contains profanity; or anything with graphic (sexual or violent) content. Currently we are not accepting material that is accessed online, such as blog posts, Facebook posts, or podcasts, but we will accept static versions of anything not under copyright or available through other means.

Preferred Formats

  • Text Documents: .pdf, .doc, .docx, .rtf, .txt, .csv
  • Photos: .jpg, .tif 
  • Videos: .avi, .mp4, .mp2, .mov, .wmv, .mxf, .ogg, .mkv
  • Sound Files: .wav, .aif, .aiff, .mid, .midi, .wma, .mp3, .m4a

Learn more about archival file formats