About the Archive


Covid19@CMC is a digital archive documenting the lived experience of the Covid-19 pandemic among the members of the Claremont McKenna College community. The purpose of the archive is to preserve hundreds of interviews and associated materials reflecting the heterogeneity of experiences that characterize this extraordinary time. Through the archive, the CMC History Department aims to provide a space where our community can express their understandings, hopes, and fears about the pandemic and where future researchers, policy makers, activists and artists can reflect on the current crisis and its lessons for the future. This project has been supported by the History Department’s Stasneck Fund, a Blais Challenge Grant from CGU, and the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies at CMC.

I hope that when I look back at this project, I’ll remember some of the feelings that I had listening to other peoples’ stories and how different they were from my experience during Covid.

Lauren Leadbetter

Sophmore, Claremont McKenna College

In Summer 2020, Professors Lily Geismer and Tamara Venit-Shelton launched the program with funding from the Joseph Z. and Ruth N. Stasneck History Fellowship, and in partnership with Special Collections at the Claremont Colleges Library. CMC students selected as Research Fellows conduct oral histories as well as collect photographs, public documents, personal papers, and other materials reflecting the evolving impact of the Covid-19 crisis. Special Collections at the Claremont Colleges Library will permanently host the digital archive. Funds from CGU’s Blais Challenge Grant and the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies enabled the team to grow and continute working in the 2020-2021 Academic Year. 


Where Can I Learn More About Legal Requirements and Access Forms?

In order to deposit interviews, personal papers, and artifacts (including digitized personal papers and artifacts) in the archive, we will need the interviewee to complete a legal deed of gift to the Claremont Colleges Library. For copies of the Claremont Colleges Library permission forms, click here.

Where Can I Learn More About Oral History Methodologies?

You can find more on oral history methods here

When Will the Library Archive Link go Live?

Special Collections at Honnold Mudd is building the digital archive. The link to the archive is here.

How Can I Get Involved?

There are two main ways you can get involved with the COVID-19 @ CMC Oral History Project, as a Research Fellow or as a Volunteer. Details on both of these roles are given below. For additional information or inquiries, you can reach out to any of our team members. Contact information is listed on our About Page.

What is a Research Fellow and How Do Applications Work?

Covid19@CMC research fellows are trained to conduct oral histories and gather artifacts for the digital archive. They work independently and as part of a team to document the lived experiences of Covid-19 in our community. If you are a current CMC student and interested in applying to be a research fellow, please email Professor Geismer or Professor Venit-Shelton.

How Can I Submit a Digital Artifact?

To submit an artifact (personal papers, images, etc.), please contact Professor Geismer or Professor Venit-Shelton, and they will inform you of the process.