Vanderbilt University teams with StoryCorps to document community’s experience during COVID-19 pandemic

Vanderbilt University and StoryCorps are teaming up on the university’s COVID-19 Community Archive to capture the diverse stories and experiences of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The university is inviting students, faculty, staff and postdocs to contribute to the creation of a unique first-person historical record. A limited number of spaces are available to participate in the recordings, which will take place on campus Nov. 1–4.

Sign the Interest Form for StoryCorps>>

Learn more about StoryCorps:

Here are some examples of recent StoryCorps conversations:

  • Longtime friends Josh Belser and Sam Dow, now living 400 miles apart, each pursued a career in medicine. Using StoryCorps Connect, they talked about how COVID-19 has dramatically changed their lives. Listen to their story now.
  • When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Dr. Roberto Vargas was overseeing the only lab in Rochester, New York, that processed COVID-19 tests. Due to the risk of exposure, he isolated himself from his wife, Susan, and their four young children. Using StoryCorps Connect, Roberto spoke with Susan and their 10-year-old son, Xavier, remotely. Watch an animation of their conversation now.

Founded in 2003, StoryCorps is an independently funded nonprofit that has given people of all backgrounds and beliefs, in thousands of towns and cities in all 50 states, the chance to record interviews about their lives. The organization preserves the recordings in its archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps shares select stories with the public through StoryCorps’ podcast, NPR broadcasts, animated shorts, digital platforms, and bestselling books. These powerful human stories reflect the vast range of American experiences, wisdom and values; engender empathy and connection; and remind us how much more we have in common than what divides us.

As part of the partnership with Vanderbilt University, StoryCorps will record 40-minute conversations between two people who know each other well. A trained StoryCorps facilitator will guide them through the recording process, but the two participants will be talking to each other directly to ask and answer questions in their own words and share memories of the experiences and people that are meaningful to them.

After the recording session, participants receive a digital download of their interview, which will be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and as part of the StoryCorps Online Archive. All the interview recordings will also be archived with Vanderbilt University.

Vanderbilt University COVID-19 Community Archive

Members of the Vanderbilt community are also encouraged to share their stories, artifacts and memories of navigating the COVID-19 pandemic with the COVID-19 Community Archive, designed to chronicle this era for future generations.

Share Your Story in the COVID-19 Community Archive>>