Your Story is North Carolina’s Story

History is happening now, and our rapid response collection project needs your help to document and preserve it, because Your Story is North Carolina's Story. The State Archives of North Carolina and the North Carolina Museum of History are partnering on a project to collect original, first-person personal accounts that document current events, including the COVID-19 pandemic and recent and ongoing protests.

The coronavirus outbreak has meant significant changes to the lives of all North Carolinians. While there is still a long way to go in terms of dealing with this worldwide crisis, we would like to hear from you now as we experience and navigate this time together.

Thousands of people have joined together in recent weeks to protest racism and police brutality. We are interested in collecting and preserving items that relate to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the protests that his death and others ignited across North Carolina, and the ongoing movements against police brutality and systemic racism.

Want to share your experience?

We are all affected by these events in varying degrees, and diaries, journals, oral histories, images, recordings, and similar materials will help us tell stories of this unprecedented time in history. Personal accounts provide depth and context for what an event or era was like for the people experiencing it. Our hope is that the record we preserve in 2020 will help future generations understand what it felt like to live through this time. Our goal is to collect the stories of diverse North Carolinians from across the state, and we need your help.

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 current events. 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; protests; civic engagement; 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 current events; 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 current events have changed the lives and/or work of every North Carolinian. Special areas of focus may be healthcare, protests, 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: Physical items cannot be collected while our facilities are closed, and we do not want to take items that are still in use, so we ask you to save these materials for future collection, but record and submit information about them now.

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 current events.  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