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: https://form.jotform.com/201004347258043.

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.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.