Your Story Matters FAQs

We want to hear about whatever aspect of your experience you wish to share. This could range from what it feels like to do time-sensitive research related to the virus, what it feels like to work on the front line during a pandemic, what it feels like to care for a sick family member. It could be about what it is like to continue working in the hospital, or what is like to no longer have a reliable job. It could be what it’s like to move home in the middle of the semester, or what it feels like to not be able to go home and have to stay on campus. It could be about the challenges of childcare or the challenges in procuring groceries.

As long as it’s your story, we want to hear about it. Your story may be a series of journal entries, an essay about your experience, a collection of photographs, or a recording of your voice. The Archives staff will provide questions and prompts if you wish.

The Archives documents the history of the Duke University Medical Center. By submitting your story, you contribute to the documentation of the Duke community’s experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that multiple voices are heard. Submissions to the Archives will be preserved for perpetuity and made available for qualified researchers to use. Students, faculty, and others will be able to understand what the experience of COVID-19 was like for you, and for others in the Duke Health community.

Similar efforts are taking place at the Duke University Archives, archives, museums, and libraries across the country, which will make your story part of a rich and multi-voiced historical resource on our present moment.

As a part of Duke Health, the Medical Center Archives is a covered entity. Therefore, we can accept materials that would fall under the HIPAA policies for health records, such as patient information if you are a provider. Part of the submission process will ask you to identify if such content is present in your work.

As you create your story materials, be mindful that submissions will be available for research, and, if you allow, made available online. Please don’t include any information--including identifying details about yourself or your friends and family--that you don’t want to share publicly.

Yes, in all public description there will be the option to remove your name entirely or to use just a first name. The Archives will collect first and last names as well as email addresses for our records, but these will not be shared with anyone except the archivists working on the project.

Please note that we will not edit or redact your submission, so if you wish to be anonymous, make sure that your submission does not indicate your identity.

Absolutely! That said, we want to make sure the Medical Center Archives is able to accept and care for your materials, so let’s discuss the materials you have to donate. Start the conversation by contacting us. We can also decide on the best way for you to get your materials to us, which might mean mailing them to us or dropping them by the Medical Center Library & Archives administrative offices, if you live locally.

Please note that these materials would be made available for research in the Archives reading room. We may be able to digitize them and add them to our Digital Collections but cannot guarantee it.

No, we cannot accept materials created by someone else--you must be the creator of what you submit. This means, for example, that faculty cannot submit student experiences. However, if students elect to submit their experiences voluntarily (and are not required to do so as part of their coursework), we welcome those students to submit their own work.