Documenting COVID-19


The University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives (UW Archives) invites you to contribute your recollections of how you are experiencing the ongoing situation around COVID-19 to the UW Archives’ collections. We are collecting digital journal and diary entries, emails, photographs, videos, voice memos and audio recordings, digital art, and other digital documentation of how our campus community has been affected.

How to participate

We are interested in stories from the UW community about how this has affected your campus experience — the shift to remote instruction and learning, studying and working from home, working at on-campus and off-campus jobs, the impact of closing residence halls and other campus services, the ways you and your friends and family are staying in touch during this period of social distancing and self-quarantine, and so on.

How you record your thoughts and experiences is up to you! For instance, you can write in a journal, record voice memos, save your social media posts, take photos and/or videos of life as you see it, or create multimedia works of digital storytelling. Need some help with how to capture your experience? We have created this short questionnaire to help you start your story. Fill in any or all of the questions, save it and upload it along with any other items you would like to submit. Or fill in the form and then call us at 608-890-1899 and record your story as a voice mail message. You can leave up to a 10 minute story. If calling, please also remember to fill in the form and identify yourself with your full name and location in the message!

This does not have to be a one-time submission! Feel free to contribute your thoughts and experiences multiple times over the coming months as we continue to move through this historic event.

Please comply with county and state stay-at-home orders while self-documenting.

Submission process

Please use the Google form to submit your digital items. A Google login is required (either Gmail or UW NetID email). You will be able to submit an agreement allowing the UW Archives to preserve your materials, and you will receive important information about the copyright and use of your content. If you need an alternative way to transfer materials, please email us ( and we’ll work it out!

We can accept most any type of format, such as photos (jpg, png), videos (mp4, mov), audio (mp3), and text (txt, pdf, docx, doc). If you are unsure about something in particular or if you have physical items you would like to donate, please email, and we can help!

If you interview or photograph other people in the course of your documentation, we will also need their permission so that we can preserve and share the recordings in the future. Please have any friends, family members, or community members also fill out the Google form if you wish to record with them. If we do not receive releases from all participants we cannot preserve the materials. But only one person will need to attach the files to the form — co-creators can simply fill in their personal information along with a description of the materials.

Submissions will not be available to the public immediately and Archives may not include all submissions in this collection (for example, blurry images). All accepted material will be made available following review and processing by UW Archives staff.

Campus resources, support available 

For the latest UW-Madison COVID-19 updates and available resources, visit


Thank you to Katie Howell of J. Murrey Atkins Library, University of North Carolina Charlotte and Ed Busch and Megan Badgley Malone of Michigan State University for allowing us to use text and ideas from UNCC’s “Contribute Your Stories of the COVID-19 Outbreak” website and Michigan State University’s “Documenting COVID-19 Experiences at Michigan State University.”