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UT Southwestern Special Collections and Archives
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Donate Your Stories About COVID-19 to the UT Southwestern Archives

The UT Southwestern Archives and Special Collections invites donations from UT Southwestern faculty, staff, and students regarding their experiences during COVID-19. We are currently archiving the University’s official response to this historical event, but we also welcome personal stories from the UTSW community, and we encourage you to participate, if possible. By recording your experiences and contributing to the Archives, you can leave a record for future generations of how COVID-19 impacted UT Southwestern and how our participation impacted the greater Dallas community’s response to it. Any questions regarding the project can be sent to Chianta Dorsey, University Archivist, or Kaitlyn Sisk, Digital Archivist, at

How to Participate

You are free to decide how you want to record your thoughts during this time. Try to share your experience in a way that’s most comfortable for you. Please adhere to state or local stay-at-home orders when self-documenting!

Some examples of materials that you can submit include the following:

  • Written or online journals and diaries
  • Blog posts
  • Photographs
  • Video and audio recordings
  • Essays or short stories
  • Poetry
  • Podcasts
Suggested Topics of Discussion

Think about what aspects of your life have changed since the outbreak of COVID-19. Some suggested topics of discussion are:

  • An introduction with your name, area of study, workplace department, and where you are from.
  • What has been your experience with online learning or the switch to an online environment for student activities such as Match Day or commencement exercises?
  • What has been your experience working remotely or as essential personnel if you must continue working on campus or in the hospitals?
  • Has COVID-19 impacted your research activities? If so, in what way?
  • What are your experiences with living under shelter in place orders? How has it affected the closure of businesses and other institutions in your local community?
  • What types of information are you consuming to stay informed regarding the status of COVID-19 on campus, locally, or nationwide?
  • How were you notified about not returning to campus? What were your initial thoughts?
  • What discussions have you had with your family, friends, colleagues, students, or professors?
  • What challenges have you overcome or faced during COVID-19?
  • Have you volunteered time or donated money to specific organizations that are fighting the outbreak of COVID-19 or addressing underlying social issues stemming from the pandemic?
  • Has your personal health been affected since the outbreak of COVID-19?
Topics to be Avoided or Discussed with Caution

UT Southwestern Archives plans to make these submissions accessible online to the UT Southwestern community and external researchers. The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health crisis, and your submissions may include your personal health information (PHI). If any of your donated materials includes discussion of your health information, this information is legally protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and you will have to sign off on the PHI agreement in our submission form.

It’s important that you also agree not to include the PHI or the personal identifiable information (PII) of other individuals (or information that could allow a third party to identify other people) in your donated materials. This includes members of your family, friends, neighbors, etc. If individuals appear with you in video or audio recordings and they discuss their health information, they will also need to complete a submission form and sign off on the PHI agreement within the form. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Submission Process and Rules

The University Archivist reserves the right to deny or accept a submission based on its content. Please adhere to the submission process and rules detailed below.

  • Please complete the COVID-19 Archiving Project Submission Form to allow the University Archives to preserve your submission. Upload any materials you wish to donate in the form and submit it. You will need a UT Southwestern email account to access the form.
  • If other people are present during your documentation and they share their COVID-19 experiences, they are considered a co-creator, and we will need their permission to preserve and share the recordings. Please have any friends, family members, or community members fill out the form if you wish to record with them. If we do not receive submission forms from all participants, we cannot preserve the materials. One person can submit the materials, but each co-creator will need to complete the form along with a description of the materials they appear in.
  • Do not submit any video or audio recordings where individuals under the age of 18 are present.
  • Do not submit intellectual property that is not yours.
  • If your items are larger than the size (1GB) allowed to be uploaded by our form, please contact us at, and we can arrange to receive your items in another manner.
  • If you are a UTSW alumni who would like to submit materials but you don’t have a UT Southwestern email account, please contact us, and we can arrange to receive your items.
Frequently Asked Questions

What form of documentation do you prefer?
We don’t have a preference. Your submissions can be in physical or digital format. Unfortunately, we cannot accept large physical artworks or artifacts at this time.

Can my submission include multiple formats?
Yes. If you decide to submit an audio recording, you can also submit photos or videos to accompany them.

I’m not affiliated with UT Southwestern Medical Center. Can I still participate?
Unfortunately, we are only accepting submissions from the UT Southwestern community at this time.

Can my submission be restricted from use for a period of time?
Yes, you can restrict public access to your submission for 5, 10, or 15 years.

How do I submit?
Please see the submission process and rules above for more information on how to submit your materials.

When should I send my submission?
This project is ongoing, and we are open to receiving submissions now or in the future.

Will my materials be placed online?
There is no guarantee that your submission will be placed online in a digital exhibit or digital collection curated by the Archives. Unless your content is restricted for a certain length of time, it can ultimately be placed online in the future.

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