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Documenting the Fairfield University Experience During the COVID-19 Pandemic: FAQ

What should I document?

We invite you to contribute original digital content that documents personal lived experiences during this pandemic. The University’s official responses will be archived separately, so what this project will do is create a collection of records that show how the Fairfield University community adapted their lives to the changes brought about by the pandemic. We’re interested in your stories about the shift to remote instruction and learning, studying and working from home or on campus, how you’re staying connected with your friends, family, colleagues, and loved ones during this period of social distancing. The success of this project will be determined by your creativity and willingness to be a social commentator.

What form(s) of documentation do you prefer?

The method of recording your thoughts and experiences is entirely up to you! Some of our suggestions include keeping a journal (video or written), saving your social media posts, taking pictures of how you or your community is practicing social distancing, or taking screenshots of your Zoom interactions. We would welcome any photos, videos, and other accounts of your daily life.

The Google Form offers two ways of sharing your experiences. After entering some basic information, you can:

1) type information directly into a text box

2) upload your photos, videos, and text files (.jpg, .mp4, .pdf, .docx, etc.)

Is there anything I should avoid documenting?

We strongly advise against sharing any specifically identifiable personal health information about yourself or others. The Library reserves the right to redact this kind of information where applicable.  If the material falls into legally protected categories i.e. those covered by HIPPA and FERPA, then we recommend not submitting it because this material cannot be released for public use. Additionally access restrictions may be placed on certain content to ensure that privacy and confidentiality are maintained, particularly for individuals and groups who have no voice or role in collections’ creation, retention, or public use. Upon submission, you will be asked to read and agree to a Personal Identifying/Health Information Agreement and a Copyright Agreement/Release.

Can I submit multiple times?

Yes, absolutely! There is no deadline for submissions, so you can either submit everything all at once or as you go along. Just be aware that you’ll have to fill out the form each time you want to submit material.

Are there any other ways that I can share a reflection?

Yes! In collaboartion with our Digital Scholarship Librarian, Campus Ministry has put together a Remembrance Wall that you can post to. Unlike the Documenting COVID Project, submissions to the Remembrance Wall will appear publicly. For more information about the Remembrance Wall, click here:

I'd like to gather information and interview people in my community, how do I do that?

If you are interested in working on a more extensive oral history project, social distancing protocols must be observed and participants must fill out a release form. We would be happy to provide you with support and guidance for this kind of project. Please contact the University Archivist (see below).

Who do I contact if I have more questions?

For questions about Form or integrating it into your classes, please contact Mat Blaine, Research & Outreach Librarian (

For questions about the University Archives, please contact Elise Bochinski, University Archivist (

Special thanks to Indiana University at Bloomington and UNC- Charlotte, whose earlier work created the basis for this project and its guidelines.