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Documenting Bowdoin & COVID-19

Tell your story

In this unprecedented historical moment, the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives invites Bowdoin’s students, faculty, staff, and alumni to document your reflections and experiences during this challenging interlude. We hope to foster connections within our community now, and to preserve record of both individual and shared experiences for posterity.

Not sure where to start? Two methods of documentation are described below.

Journaling

On paper or digitally, write down your experiences. You can do it daily, just once, or whenever you feel like it. It can take the form of prose, poetry, art – anything that helps reflect your current lived experience.

Oral Histories

Take time to interview another member of the Bowdoin community. Step outside your own experience and listen to the stories of others. Perhaps there is a fellow student or member of the faculty or staff whose story you’d like to hear. If you’d like, you can take turns and interview each other. You can pair with a partner on your own, or we can pair you with someone.

Depositing in the Archives

Special Collections & Archives actively collects and preserves both historical and contemporary records of the College. Through our COVID-19 documentation initiative we hope to minimize silences in the record by receiving personal reflections from as many Bowdoin community members as are willing to share them. Your contribution will balance and bolster the records that the Archives is already preserving, including through web and e-mail archiving, that document the College administration’s actions during this crisis.

SC&A will accept journals and oral histories in digital or paper form. To contribute to our digital repository, click the “Submit your story” button below (contact Meagan Doyle with questions). For all non-digital submissions, contact Caroline Moseley. Contributions will be made available to researchers both online and at SC&A according to submission agreements.

Integration with courses

If you are a Bowdoin faculty member and are interested in having your students do journaling or oral history work as part of your course, please contact Marieke Van Der Steenhoven, who can provide assistance in designing an assignment and ensuring the results can be preserved as part of the historical record.