Special Collections & Archives Banner

You are here

Main Content

COVID-19 Project FAQs

1. What should I document? 

The subjects of your submissions are up to you. You may want to record your daily routine, your feelings and emotions, or observations about the changes in the world around you. Some examples include alterations to the daily routine of children or the elderly, stories of support from unexpected sources, or day-to-day quarantine routines. What do you care about most? What do you worry about (caring for loved ones, making ends meet)? What are you thankful for (Skype/Zoom, a neighbor, friend, or family member)? What are you noticing about everyday changes in the world around you? Details that may feel unimportant or uninteresting are what future researchers will want to know.

We are also interested in how you and your community are transitioning into new phases of the pandemic. What will the so-called 'new normal' be for you? What are your re-opening plans?  What you chose to record may change from day to day or week to week. Documenting your experience is and should be personal and every approach unique. If you have questions regarding specific items or topics, please contact University Archivist April Feldman at april.feldman@csun.edu.

2. Is there anything I should avoid documenting? 

Yes! Since the COVID-19 pandemic is a public health crisis, your submission may include the personal health information of yourself or others, information protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). At the time of submission, you must agree to a Personal Health Information Agreement, which you can read now on the Submission form. 

Please note: You must agree not to include personally identifiable health information about another person or persons, or information that could allow a third party to identify other people. We will exclude all submissions that do not meet this standard. Please contact us know if you have any questions. This might include members of your family, neighbors, etc. IF you do so, there are a couple of options: the 3rd party must separately submit the Personal Health Information Agreement, or your submission must anonymize for both the submitter and any identifiable third parties. Please let us know if you have any questions.

3. What kinds of submissions or documents do you want for this project? 

The archives are interested in the materials you're creating right now, your materials that document this time. Examples include: 

  • a sign or art you created 
  • videos or recordings of events, classes, workouts, spoken words, and music shared online during this time 
  • photographs of the campus, your home/work-space, or scenes from around your community that illustrate changes in society taken during this time 
  • homeschool schedules or other daily routines for parents working from home 
  • your journal entries (written, audio, or video) documenting your experience 

We accept multiple formats, so please chose what suits you. We also accept mixed formats in a single submission. For example, you may have both a written entry and photographs. 

4. How do I submit materials to the archive?

Please use our online submission form.

5. How often can/should I submit to the archives?

The frequency of submission is up to you. You can be a one-time or ongoing donor. The project will continue as the situation evolves. Please document as long as you are willing and able. Please note that our current submission form has a 10MB maximum. If your donation exceeds this limit, please submit multiple online forms or contact University Archivist April Feldman at april.feldman@csun.edu.

6. I am concerned about entering my name, email address, or physical address in the submission form. How will you use this information?

We will only use this information to contact you if we have any questions about the materials you submitted. We will not share it or use it for anything else.

7. Can my submissions be anonymous? Or can you only use my first name?

Yes, we will happily offer this option. We want all participants to feel comfortable donating to the archives.

8. Can my submission be restricted from use for a while? 

Yes, our submission form currently offers the option to restrict materials. Please contact University Archivist April Feldman at april.feldman@csun.edu if you have questions. 

9. I have a physical object that I would like to submit to the archive, like a paper pamphlet or a 3D object. Can I still contribute the item?

Yes. The CSUN library has re-opened to patrons. Please contact University Archivist April Feldman at april.feldman@csun.edu to arrange a physical donation.

10. I am a member of the CSUN faculty. Is there some way I can ask my students to submit something to the project as an assignment for my class? 

Absolutely! If you choose, you can make your students aware of our effort and suggest that they submit their projects to the archives. If they are interested, they can contribute via our submission form and note that the submission was a project for your class.

11. Is there a minimum age for submissions? 

Anyone 18 or older can submit a work to this project. Due to HIPAA regulations, people under 18 cannot legally agree to the Submission Agreement and Personal Health Information Agreement, so they cannot submit a project. 

12. I’m not officially affiliated with CSUN, but live in the area near campus. Can I still participate? 

Our effort focuses on the CSUN Community, which we believe includes our off-campus neighbors and supporters. The University Archives is interested in documenting how the COVID-19 pandemic has and continues to affect our neighbors. If you live near campus or own a business in Northridge, we would welcome your submission.