COVID-19: Save Your Story

Project DescriptionCOVID-19 History Project Diary Image

A call for volunteers: The COVID-19 Pandemic has affected all of us in many different ways and we are all eyewitnesses to the events that have been unfolding the last few weeks. This is a time for us to record our daily experiences, thoughts, and feelings in diary form, either in writing or video. The Library of Michigan and Historical Society of Michigan envision collecting and preserving these stories. The goal is to preserve the stories of our daily lives during the crisis and to provide future historians, researchers, and students with information and data on life in Michigan communities during the Pandemic.

What should people collect and how they should collect it?

Please take the time each day to record your activities, thoughts, and/or feelings in diary form. The entries can be handwritten, typed, or in video format, and be as long or short as you want. Don’t worry about handwriting, spelling, or punctuation. The goal is to capture your personal experiences.

Sometimes it can be difficult to get started on that diary, or to think of what you might include in that diary. So, below are some things to think about, with regards to current events, to help you get started:

  • What did you do today (or this week)? How was that different than what you would do on a “normal” day/week?
  • What changes have you personally experienced (physically, mentally, and/or emotionally) since this crisis began? 
  • What changes have you observed in your family, your friends, or your local community?
  • Are you a student or a teacher? Where and how do you normally attend school? Has this changed? How’s that going? Or is there a student or teacher in your family? How is the crisis affecting their schooling situation?
  • Do you typically work outside the home? What is your job normally like? What is it like right now? Are you still working, whether on-site or remotely? Why or why not? How’s that going?
  • Are you practicing social distancing? Why or why not? What are you doing? How is this affecting your relationships? How do you stay in touch with family and friends?
  • Has this crisis changed (whether voluntarily or involuntarily) any of your plans for day-to-day errands, travel, visiting, leisure activities, celebrations, religious activities, etc.?
  • What do you think about the actions of government leaders in response to this crisis? 
  • What has been the most difficult thing for you personally about this crisis? Do you think there’s anything positive that may come from what’s happening?

Submitting stories to the Library of Michigan

To submit a diary, please fill out the form at: Entries may be submitted anonymously by putting the word "Anonymous" in the Name field on the form. Email Library of Michigan staff at if you have any questions or problems sending submissions. 


Special thanks to the Special Collections and Archives Department of Wright State University Libraries for their advice during the development of this project. See information about their COVID-19 History Project on their Out of the Box blog page. Additional thanks to the Historical Society of Michigan in partnering on this project with the Library of Michigan.

Tools for sharing the "COVID-19: Save Your Story" project

Marketing URL:

URL of page:,9327,7-381-88854_89996-523458--,00.html

Shortened URL of page:

URL of submission form:

Project Image for Social Media

Social Media Hashtags: #COVID19 #SaveYourStory 

Additional Information About Journaling During a Crisis

How Keeping a Pandemic Journal Builds Students’ Historical Thinking Skills and Helps Them Cope - KQED PBS May 20, 2020

12 Ideas for Writing Through the Pandemic With The New York Times - The New York Times April 15, 2020


Last updated: 5/27/2020