For many of us, this is a time of unprecedented amounts of uncertainty and anxiety. When the pandemic ends, we will all look back on this period, and try to make sense of it in our own ways.
But how, exactly, will we remember it?
Have you ever lived through an unusual or emotionally intense moment in your life, and told yourself that you would never forget a single detail? How much do you remember of it now?
It is remarkable how quickly we can forget what it was like to have lived through an extraordinary experience.
Oral history interviews are an important resource to make sure this doesn’t happen. By recording your own experiences now, or by interviewing your friends and loved ones, you can create a valuable, in-the-moment record that you’ll be able to look back on in the years to come.
Never recorded an oral history interview before? Don’t worry! The How to Participate page has a guide that literally anyone can use to record interviews about life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Suitable for kids and adults alike, you need no special skills or equipment to record your stories!
Want a little extra guidance? Check out the Sample Interview page for an interview I did, complete with a list of Dos and Don’ts.
Looking for a way to record your kids’ memories of the pandemic while keeping them entertained at the same time? Head to the Just For Kids page for puzzles, activities, and a kid-friendly guide to recording an oral history interview.
Once you’ve completed your interview, you can keep it for your own records, and/or donate a copy to your local museum or archives. Learn more about what to do with your finished recordings on the What Next page.
Want a professional-quality transcript of your interview? For a suggested donation of $10 or more to your local food bank, I will transcribe up to fifteen minutes of your audio recording. Contact me here for more details.
Recording a Pandemic’s Story:
My name is Emma, and I’m a writer, folklorist/oral historian, and museum professional. Currently out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was inspired to create this project by a desire to help make sure this extraordinary time gets documented not only on a global scale, but on a scale reflective of ordinary people’s lives.