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COVID-19-Related Student Experiences and Observations

A collage of items from the COVID-19-Related Student Experiences and Observations collection


About the Collection

Items in the COVID-19-Related Student Experiences and Observations collection were self-submitted by students of Ohio University. The digital formats include essays, timelines, diagrams, interviews, videos, visual art works, and performance pieces including spoken word, dance, and music. There is no analog component. 

About the Project

The COVID-19-Related Student Experiences and Observations project began in late spring 2020 after it became obvious that college students’ lives and expectations had been, and were going to continue to be, severely altered by the coronavirus pandemic. Ohio University students were on spring break when the deadly effects of the virus and its rapid spread became of such serious, universal concern that Ohio University administrators decided to inform the students that they should not return to campus after the break; that their courses would be completed online; and that the usual spring ceremonies such as Commencement would not be occurring in 2020. 

It was not long after this that the Ohio University Archives decided that collecting student experiences and observations related to the pandemic would help to inform future generations of students and other researchers about what life was like for students at Ohio University during this time. This collection is a result of that endeavor. There was no limit put on the students for the manners in which they could choose to express their observations, experiences, and feelings related to the virus and its effects on their lives, as well as on the lives of their families and friends. Consequently, students submitted materials expressing themselves in essays, journals, audio and video recordings, poetry, choreography, and artwork.   

See the news article “OHIO Libraries Preserving Student History during the Coronavirus,” June 19, 2020, and the podcast “‘But I can remember stories,’ Bill Kimok and Miriam Intrator,” Social Distances - Midstory episode 2, April 14, 2021.

Future Additions

We continue to encourage submissions to the project from Ohio University students. Access the Students Preserving History: OHIO Student Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic submission form here.

Related Collections

See the Ohio University Archives--General collection for assorted OHIO historical materials such as photos, maps, videos, and these specific collections for student newspapers, course catalogs/bulletins, alumni journals, and yearbooks.

Access at Alden

Since the materials in this collection have all been created and submitted digitally, there are no physical components of the collection for reviewers to access at the Mahn Center. This collection is online only.

Access Online

Browse and search the collection in CONTENTdm.

Collection Contact

Bill Kimok, University Archivist and Records Manager, Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections, Ohio University Libraries. Submit a research request using this form.


See the Digital Archival Collections Materials Selection and Rights policy.

Rights Statement

In copyright. Items in the COVID-19-Related Student Experiences and Observations collection are protected by copyright, unless otherwise indicated.


In Copyright