Hokies@Home project collects and preserves Hokies’ experiences during COVID-19
The University Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives is collecting and preserving the extraordinary experiences of members of the Hokie Nation during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Leaders of the Hokies@Home: Documenting COVID-19 at Virginia Tech project are collecting oral histories, audio recordings, written stories, diary and journal entries, photographs, videos, art, and other documentation for inclusion in its publicly available digital collections.
“We're particularly interested in the documentation of experiences as they relate to Virginia Tech and how individual and community-university experiences were affected by the pandemic,” said Anthony Wright de Hernandez, University Libraries’ community collections archivist. “If you are a member of the Virginia Tech community and you have a story to tell, this project is about you.”
Digital materials can be submitted through a donation form. The group wants to hear all Virginia Tech voices and will be providing submission options in multiple languages. Currently, the project’s informational page and donation form are available in both English and Spanish.
Archivists want to hear from university faculty, staff, and wage employees; prospective, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students; alumni; parents and family of Virginia Tech students; university contractors; and members of local communities connected to Virginia Tech.
“We also want to hear from all Virginia Tech locations including Blacksburg, Richmond, the Greater D.C. area, Hampton Roads, Roanoke, Abingdon, Reynolds Homestead, Agricultural Research and Extension Centers, the Steger Center for International Scholarship, study abroad sites, and any other locations with a connection to the university,” said Aaron Purcell, director of University Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives. “It’s important to collect all of these experiences and make them digitally available and searchable for future generations.”
As part of the Hokies@Home collection, the project will include all official digital content from Virginia Tech related to COVID-19, including news articles, public announcements, websites, social media, emails, and recordings of public town hall events. But project leaders stress that a key part of this collection will be crowdsourced personal experiences from Hokies, near and far.
“Learning about history from primary sources of personal experiences truly brings extraordinary times alive for future generations. It will be personally relatable for future Hokies,” said Purcell. “Preserving the university’s official documents and communications along with Hokies’ personal experiences will give a clear picture of the effects this international pandemic had on all our lives and our university. It’s very important for future generations to understand and learn from it.”