Skip to main content

Collecting COVID-19 content

We’re asking for your help to collect content relating to COVID-19 and the University of Sydney for future research, teaching and public interest

From building closures to undertaking exams online, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the University of Sydney. The Library wants to collaborate with University staff and students to capture your university experience during this time and document this important piece of University of Sydney history.

What you can donate

The Library will accept donations relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and the University of Sydney, and are particularly keen to hear how your work/education life has changed during the pandemic. This may include:

  • photographs
  • recordings
  • short reflections
  • personal diaries
  • newsletters
  • artworks

The Library is also interested in hearing about online content, including social media hashtags and websites, that should also be collected.

How to donate

Writing a short reflection

Not sure where to start? We've put together a template of questions (docx, 20KB) to prompt you to think about aspects of your experiences - you could write down your reflection, or make an audio or video recording of yourself.

Or you could consider writing a message to the future:

Imagine you’re sending a message to someone in the future. This may be your future self, your descendants, your community or even someone opening a time capsule from today in a future century. What would you like them to know about the pandemic as experienced through your daily life, your hopes, your fears, what you’ve observed or learnt, unexpected surprises and joys? Your message may take in any form – written, illustrated, composed, sound-based, video, a zine, 3D, or something else entirely. You can give it to us as a digital file(s), or a physical item.

Note: The COVID-19 pandemic has been a particularly tough time for many people, please remember that there are ways for you to get support.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will be the collection be made available for research, teaching and public interest?
  • We will need to curate the collection before we make it available for use. We expect to release the collection in 2021

What about University research outputs?
How do I let you know about a hashtag or posts on social media that should be collected?
How are official university records being collected?
  • University Archives and Records Management Services (ARMS) are responsible for collecting official University records and metadata about core business functions including those supporting student administration, teaching and research, strategic policy and planning, communications, financial management, property management, staffing and work health and safety. ARMS can be contacted by email:

I have content I’d like to donate but it’s not related to the University of Sydney
  • There are efforts to create archives of content relating to COVID-19 happening all over the world. The State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW) is holding a COVID-19 collecting drive and some smaller libraries are also collecting items relating to COVID-19 and their local area. Consider checking if your local library is accepting donations of content or if yours is suitable for the SLNSW collection.

What if I submit something but then no longer want it included in the collection?
Who will be able to access the collection?
  • The collection will be made openly available to be accessed by the public as well as the university community as per the Library’s Collection Management Principles.

What is the purpose of the Collecting COVID-19 project?
  • To establish a collection of physical and digital content that reflects the impact of COVID-19 on the University of Sydney community and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This collection will made openly available so that it can used in research and teaching, as well as for public interest.

Are there any privacy considerations that I should consider prior to submission?
  • Yes. The material that you supply may contain personal information of another person, that is information that identifies them. For example, their name, image, a recording of their voice, or an opinion about them. Where you are supplying the personal information of another person, you will need to obtain their consent prior to submission to the Library. The information on this page about the purpose of this collection and the Library’s Collection Management Principles should be provided as part of obtaining this consent.

Contact us

For assistance or inquiries email

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that this website may contain images, voices and names of people who have died.

The University of Sydney Library acknowledges that its facilities sit on the ancestral lands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, who have for thousands of generations exchanged knowledge for the benefit of all. Learn more