Documenting Covid-19: Record Your Experience

Documenting Covid-19: Record Your Experience of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Tennesseans, like so many people worldwide, are reacting and adapting to the global COVID-19 health crisis. As the state repository for collecting and preserving Tennessee history, the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) is pleased to announce a new initiative as we seek to chronicle this moment in our country’s history and its impact on all Tennesseans.

TSLA encourages all Tennesseans to document their unique experience of life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your expressions, whether in the form of personal diaries, journal entries, poems, photographs, drawings, audio and/or video interviews, will all be invaluable contributions towards documenting this historic moment. A selection of material submitted through this form may be shared through Library & Archives social media accounts or digital collections. Ultimately, submitted materials will be preserved at the Library & Archives for future generations. Click here to begin sharing your story.

Resources for Students and Families to Share Their Stories

Primary sources are first-hand accounts of certain events that reflect how people think, feel, or wonder about their current situation. They are the evidence that historians use to study events from the past. Primary sources come in a variety of forms and have changed as technology has changed our world. 

Some classic examples may be letters, diaries/journal entries, oral histories or interviews, news articles, telegrams, political cartoons, maps, and photographs. More modern examples of primary sources may be videos, social media (Instagram, Snapchat, Tik Tok, Facebook) posts, online blog posts, podcasts, text messages, and emails. All primary sources are essential for future researchers and help give identity and agency to the people of the past. Regardless of age, race, gender, or background all stories are important to hear and preserve for years to come. 

The Tennessee State Library and Archives encourages students and their families to think about creating their own primary sources to document our collective response to the Covid-19 public health crisis. We want to hear your story! 

As a Tennessee student, what would you want remembered? What would you want someone to know about you and your life during this time? Below are a few graphic organizers with questions that could help you get started on documenting your own unique experience. Feel free to use some, all, or none to frame your thoughts! Additionally, we encourage you to create your own questions or considerations for each primary source you create. 


For more Tennessee history content, visit the Tennessee Blue Book: A History of Tennessee- Student Edition. For more primary sources geared toward students of all grade levels, visit our Primary Sources page.