Pandemic Diaries Project

Pandemic Diaries Project Header
Covid19 Pandemic
Covid-19 Pandemic Diaries Project

The Project

The Cal State LA Pandemic Diaries Project, organized by the University Library Special Collections and Archives, aims to create an archive of digital diaries that captures the narratives and experiences of our campus community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We encourage members of our campus community to document their personal experiences and contribute their diaries to the University Archives. There is no better time than the present to capture your experiences. As we endure the pandemic, we are experiencing a shift to online learning, working from home, social distancing, and self-quarantine. We are relying heavily on technology to communicate with one another, from attending lectures/meetings through ZOOM to communicating with loved ones through FaceTime.

Your digital diary will help us better understand how we as individuals and a collective community are experiencing the ongoing crisis. These materials will be preserved in the University Archives, providing future researchers with first-hand accounts of this historic event. Recording and sharing your story can prove to be a source of healing, empowerment, and solidarity.

How to Participate

To participate please download the Pandemic Diaries Packet which includes:

  1. Instructions for creating your Diary
  2. Questions to help guide your self-interview
  3. Checklist of Submission Materials
  4. Deed of Gift – PLEASE SIGN


Your Pandemic Diary Should Include:

  • A Video or Audio Recording
    • Audio or video recording no longer than 1 hour where you share what you are currently experiencing with the shifts and disruptions to our day-to-day realities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • We have provided questions and an infographic in the Project Packet to get you started.
  • A Transcript
    • To help us archive your stories, please create a transcript of your self-interview. We recommend downloading a free app called Otter.
    • After recording, upload your audio/video file to the app and it will transcribe the recording for you. You can export the transcript in a text document and upload it with your submission. Please note we may contact you to verify some details.
  • A signed Deed of Gift 
    • Your Pandemic Diary will be donated to Special Collections and Archives for research. Please sign and submit this project-specific Deed of Gift to finalize your donation. 

The following file formats will be accepted:

  • Video and/or recording (MP3, MP4),
  • Transcript (.txt, .doc, .docx)
  • The total file size limit for your submission is 1 GB


A Note about Personal Health Information:

The nature of this diary may be sensitive. Feel free to share whatever information you are comfortable sharing keeping in mind that this information may be archived and shared as described above. However, please be mindful to not disclose any personally identifiable or health information about another student or employee of Cal State LA - this includes information that could allow a third party to identify that person.


Download a printable copy of the Project Packet featuring these instructions.

Covid-19 Infographic
Covid-19 Infographic

Questions about Your Submission?


We welcome collaborations with instructors incorporating community projects and/or class assignments related to the campus community during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re interested in using the Pandemic Diary Project to help capture the experiences of your students, download and review the Faculty Submission Guidelines.

Questions about Pandemic Diary class assignments email Azalea Camacho, Archivist and Special Collections Librarian [email protected]