Vanderbilt Special Collections and University Archives is documenting and archiving the responses of Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center students, staff, faculty, and administration to the COVID-19 pandemic to preserve this window of time for future historians, researchers and others.
Chris Ryland, curator of History of Medicine Collections and Archives, explains the importance of this new initiative in this video. “This is an unprecedented medical, social and economic event for the vast majority of people living today, and it’s important for us to collect as much as we can about how it affected those working, studying and teaching at Vanderbilt,” said Ryland. “Future historians will use this archive to understand what it meant to live through this unique period of time.”
That is where the Vanderbilt community comes in. It is important to document both the significant and seemingly insignificant ways we are being affected. All kinds of materials – photos, videos, journals, emails, etc. are wanted. There is no limit on the size or type of donation.
Send us photographs of books you’ve read, recipes you’ve cooked or the garden you’ve planted. Maybe you picked up a new hobby, or made COVID-19 masks for friends and family. Tell us about it! Take a picture of your home office, your work schedule, or document your struggles and successes pivoting to online teaching. Everyone’s experiences are equal in the pandemic, and we want to record everything from the mundane to the most extraordinary. History will be written based on the things we save now.
Please join us in this extraordinary effort, and be a part of Vanderbilt’s history.