Helpful Tips for Your Submission

What is a COVID Story?

A COVID Story is a record of your experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. The story may be told through interviews, poems, journals, videos, photographs, or any other means that shares your experience. A COVID story is your story. Your unique perspective adds to our understanding of the pandemic’s impact upon the Purdue campus community and its people.

File Formats

When possible, files should be submitted in wav, m4a, or mp3 (audio); mp4 or mov (video); pdf, text, docx (text); csv or xlsx (structured data); or tiff or jpeg (image). These formats are more sustainable and easier to preserve long term. For more detailed file format preferences, visit our format recommendations page.

Creating an Oral History Interview

Oral histories often take place between an interviewer and interviewee as part of a conversation; however, it is also common to record one’s own recollections. When completing your oral history try to choose a recording space that will have minimal disruption or noise. Be sure to indicate the date and time at the outset of each recording.

Recording Devices

For audio, the default recording app on Apple devices is Voice Memos; most Android devices do not come with a default audio recorder, but apps are available. On Windows devices, the default application is Voice Recorder. There are also a number of digital audio recorders available for purchase.

For video, there are a number of options available on smartphones and other devices; you may also wish to record a video using video conferencing tools.

If you are new to voice or video recording, take time to test out your device options and learn what works best for you!

Starting the Interview

Before starting the interview questions, record the following statement at the start of your interview:

“This is (your name) and I am conducting an interview with (interviewee name or yourself) for the Purdue COVID Stories Project. The date is (insert date). The location is (insert location).”

Sample Interview Questions

  • What is the first thing you remember hearing about the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • How did the pandemic affect your work? (For example, if you are a student, how did your ways of learning change? If you are a faculty member, how did your teaching change and/or your research? If you are a staff member, how did your daily work change during the pandemic? Did you work onsite, remotely, or hybrid?)
  • What are some of the things that you have changed about your life or work during the pandemic?
  • What challenges has the pandemic brought for you personally, in your work and your social life?
  • What have been the benefits to the ways our lives have changed since March 2020? Have there been unexpected bright spots or learning opportunities that have emerged for you?
  • Despite this challenging time, what are some of the ways you have coped with the changes the pandemic has brought?
  • What are some of the ways you have grown or changed during this experience?
  • If you were to describe the COVID-19 pandemic to your grandchildren or researchers in the future, what would you say? What do you think is important for people in the future to know about the impact of COVID-19 on society?

Asking for Help

Contact Archives and Special Collections with any questions regarding the project, file formats, submitting content, or other considerations.