Frequently Asked Questions

What should I submit to the archive?

The Stony Brook University community can contribute personal narratives, oral histories, and original digital items that represent and document the SBU experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Why should I submit to the archive?

Your contribution is vital to preserve the institutional history of this unprecedented event including SBU’s integral and pivotal role in the regional response to the crisis, its contributions to research initiatives in global contexts, and the shift to remote learning and instruction. 

What types of material are being collected? 

We are collecting digital materials created by the SBU community specifically in response to COVID-19 pandemic. Examples include:

  • digital photographs of daily life 
  • personal stories
  • journal entries
  • screenshots of social media posts 
  • videos (under 10 minutes)
  • links to webpages or online resources (URLs)
  • coursework or research projects 
  • literary and creative works
  • descriptions of remote learning experience or how classes changed when they went virtual.

What types of material are not being collected?

  • content that is licensed and/or not open access 
  • copyrighted or unoriginal content
  • YouTube videos
  • webpages
  • personally identifiable health information
  • medical records
  • physical artifacts
  • student records

Are you collecting physical materials? 

Due to the current situation, we are unable to accept physical materials. An update will be posted in the future when collecting will resume. 

What if I do not have copyright to the material?

If you do not own the copyright to the material we can not publish it. We are obligated to abide by copyright law. We will assess all submissions on a case-by-case basis. 

In special circumstances, we will create a catalog record and link to the web content rather than storing the file in our institutional repository.

Can I submit something that I did not create?

We can only accept files if you are a creator. We will consider links (e.g. YouTube video) if you are not a creator.

If you are a co-creator, you can submit the item. To add the content, we will need permission from anyone else who contributed. Please have any co-authors or fellow contributors fill out the submission form, too. If we do not receive releases from all participants, we can not keep the materials.

What file formats are accepted? 

JPG, TIFF, PNG, PDF, AVI, MOV, MP3, MP4, and WAV files.

Will my contact information be published?

No. Your contact information will not be published. E-mail addresses are being collected to acknowledge receipt of your submission and to contact you if we have questions about it. 

How do I submit a published newspaper or journal article I wrote about COVID-19?

If you have copyright: please save the webpage or article as a PDF and upload it through the form. With many devices, when you select the option to print, you can save a file as a PDF (rather than print it). If you are not able to complete this step, please include a brief note on the bottom of the form, and we can assist. You can also submit an original manuscript. 

If you do not have copyright: please consider submitting your content as a URL. In special circumstances, we will create a catalog record and link to the web content rather than storing the file in our institutional repository.  

Can I submit to the archive more than once?

Yes. To create another submission, simply fill out the form again. There is no limitation on the number of times you choose to submit. 

What is the submission process?

To submit items, please click on the “Submit to the Archive” button on the webpage “Documenting COVID-19: Stony Brook University Experiences.” 

Who do I contact if I have questions? 

Contact Kristen J. Nyitray ( or Dana Reijerkerk (

What is the deadline for submissions?

We will continue to accept submissions on a rolling basis unless otherwise noted.

When will my oral history be recorded?

We will be scheduling virtual interviews throughout the fall semester. If you expressed an interest in being interviewed, we will be following up to discuss the process.

Are you collecting data sets, research, and scholarly articles?

Research related to COVID-19 can be submitted to Academic Commons, the University Libraries’ open access repository. Please add your file to the collection named “COVID-19 Related Research Projects.”

Do you accept music compositions?

Yes. Music compositions should be limited to 20 pages in length.

Can I integrate this project in my teaching and course syllabus?

Yes. Documenting the experiences of our students during the pandemic is vital. Instructors can help ensure students contribute to the historical record of the university. Please consult our guide about course integration.

Are there other COVID-19 documentation projects at SBU and can I also contribute to them?

Yes. You are welcome to contribute the same content to other projects. One example is “Narratives of COVID-19,” a student-managed blog part of the Program in Writing and Rhetoric’s RhetComp, a platform for Stony Brook University students to promote their own writing.