Campus News

UK Libraries' Special Collections Wants Your COVID-19 Stories

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 1, 2020) The University of Kentucky LibrariesSpecial Collections Research Center (SCRC) is working on a way to capture stories of individuals in self-isolation or on the front lines providing essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to record history while it's unfolding across the Commonwealth, and the world around us.

"We typically think of archives as places to study the distant past but archivists work to ensure we build contemporary and historic collections for future examination. We are in an historical moment right now and technology allows us to ask our community to take an active role in creating collective history in real time," Associate Dean of SCRC Deirdre Scaggs said. "It is an unprecedented chance for us to preserve the collective voices of Kentuckians. No matter how insignificant you may think your experience is, it matters and deserves its place in the archives."

Individuals who live, work or study in Kentucky are invited to share their personal pandemic journeys as part of this initiative. “In This Together: Documenting COVID-19 in the Commonwealth” will bring together submissions of COVID-19 related archival materials, including:

  • uploaded photographs, videos and/or art;
  • oral histories and other audio recordings; and/or
  • provided written content (diary or journal entries, documents related to pandemic, etc.).

To participate in his project, make submissions of information at the following JotForm:

The Special Collections Research Center at UK Libraries sustains the Commonwealth's memory and serves as the essential bridge between past, present and future. By preserving materials documenting the social, cultural, economic and political history of Kentucky, the center provides rich opportunities for students to expand their worldview and enhance their critical thinking skills. SCRC materials are used by scholars worldwide to advance original research and pioneer creative approaches to scholarship. UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center is the Archives, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the King Library Press, the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center, the Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection, the John G. Heyburn Initiative and ExploreUK.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $501 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.