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Pandemic Stories Project

A sign reads “healthcare workers hammer down this virus. The world thanks you."

Share your story! Help HSA document our lives during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Health Sciences Archives (HSA) launched the Pandemic Stories Project in spring 2020 to document the collective and individual experiences of the FHS and HHS communities throughout the Covid-19 crisis. Our goal is to preserve these stories so that future generations can learn about our day-to-day lives at this historic time.

Expandable List

Anyone who is part of the FHS or HHS community, including:

  • Students
  • Staff
  • Administrators
  • Faculty
  • Researchers
  • Front-line workers (including custodial staff and other essential workers)
  • Patients
  • Alumni

Everyone’s story matters and adds to the collective historical record.

Mindy Potter's home-made for her daughter's wedding, Aug. 2020. Health Sciences Archives McMaster University

Topics that are of interest:

  • How the daily operations at FHS and HHS have changed
  • What it is like being a student at this time (learning, studying, socializing, etc.)
  • What it is like working or conducting research at this time
  • Front-line worker experiences
  • Initiatives to help front-line workers and vulnerable community groups (e.g. grocery deliveries, child-care services, etc.)
  • Strategies to combat loneliness and other needs within your community
  • Day-to-day life experiences
  • How the pandemic has changed the way you think about and source food
  • How the pandemic has changed the way we celebrate special occasions (e.g. birthdays, graduations, weddings, holidays, etc.)

And more!

stone painted with hopeful message found along walking paths near Lake Wabukayne (Mississauga, ON), Spring 2020.

In the short term, The Health Sciences Archives will be sharing selections from each submission on its website and through the Health Sciences Library’s social media channels (with permission). All submissions will be preserved in accordance with professional archival standards into perpetuity (well beyond our lifetimes). All submissions will be made available for researchers to access and use for their various projects. Common archival researchers include, museum curators, filmmakers, journalists, authors, academics, students, genealogists, etc. The various ways the material could be used is limitless (unless there are restrictions)!

Lucas N. opens a birthday present while his nonna watches from a distance, spring 2020. Health Sciences Archives, McMaster University

That’s ok! Archives regularly accept sensitive material and have procedures in place to keep it confidential until such a time that it can be made open. In the meantime, we can keep the material safe and ensure it survives so that people 50 or 100 years from now can see it. We can discuss your privacy concerns at the time of donation and work out appropriate closure restrictions.

Please send Archivist Melissa Caza an e-mail with a description of the material you would like to donate at She will coordinate a submission process with you.