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Archives and Special Collections at Xavier University: COVID-19 & Xavier: A Digital Collection

Guide to University Archives and Special Collections at Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio)

COVID-19 & Xavier: A Digital Collection

For Xavier University's updates on the pandemic, visit

Tweet featuring Fr. Graham at call centertweet featuring Fr. B in jesuit residence halltweet of video of Fr. Graham's message to campus community

About This Project

What is this project about?

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has brought unprecedented changes to the Xavier community. This project is an attempt to capture and document the impact of the coronavirus on the Xavier community and our response to these challenges. Project contributions will help us -- and future scholars -- understand the social, economic, and organizational effects of the pandemic on the students, faculty, staff, and alumni of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In January 2020, a Xavier University Task Force began monitoring the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and providing communication to our community. On March 10, 2020 Ohio Governor Mike DeWine made the recommendation to Ohio-based higher education institutions to transition to remote learning for the foreseeable future in an effort to combat the spread of the virus.

Xavier University, in compliance with the governor's request and to protect the health and well-being of its community, responded by moving to a remote learning format for all courses for the remainder of the 2020 spring semester. Spring Break was extended and classes resumed on Monday, March 23. The majority of staff and faculty began to work from home on March 16. All in-person events and gatherings for the rest of the semester were canceled. Commencement was postponed.

How did you experience the rapidly changing environment? What was it like to move out of the residence halls on short notice? How did All for One and One For All play out in your experience? This project seeks to capture the student, faculty, staff, and alumni experience of this extraordinary time.

How Can I Contribute?

It is very easy to contribute to the collection. To get started, click on the "Contribute Now" link to the right. This will take you to the contribution submission form. You will be able to select what kind of item you would like to contribute.

Then, you will be presented with a variety of text boxes to complete in order to identify and describe your item. We ask that you provide:

  • Title (How would you like the item to be titled? Example: Working from Home Memo)
  • Date (The date the item was created. Example: 2020-03-30)
  • Description (A brief description of the item. Example: This is a memo that all Xavier employees received regarding procedures for working from home.)
  • file upload (if appropriate)

We will also ask for a name to be associated with an item, but you are welcome to put "Anonymous" if you would like to submit anonymously or you may select "Keep my identity private."

Once you indicate that you have read and agree to the Terms and Conditions for submission, your contribution will be reviewed by University Archives and Special Collections staff. If you have indicated that you agree to have your contribution published in Exhibit, the digital repository, then UASC staff will upload it to the public digital collection.

What Can I Contribute?

You can contribute anything that you feel reflects how Xavier experienced the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. Whatever image, story, video, recording, or email captures something about this experience for you is an appropriate contribution. For instance, you could contribute:

  • Photographs of signs on campus buildings or nearby businesses
  • Stories of personal isolation or community engagement
  • Notifications from Xavier, employers, organizations, or community officials (e.g. emails)
  • Instances of social distancing; or moments of connection while in isolation
  • Images of empty streets or buildings
  • Documentation of the peculiar sights, sounds, and events of Xavier on quarantine
  • Reflection on what the crisis has revealed to you about either yourself or Xavier.* Here's some questions to help guide your reflection:
    • What kinds of activities keep you entertained?
    • What is it like to go to the grocery store? Where are you getting groceries? Who from your household does the shopping? How frequently?
    • Have your eating habits/daily diet changed due to many restaurants closures and stay at home orders?
    • What are challenges of working-from-home?
    • How are your classes going?

Because most of us are experiencing this pandemic in isolation, social media and electronic forms of communication have become vital for sharing information and sustaining connection. Xavier, and other organizations, have shared updates through emails, websites, and social media posts. Please assist us in capturing these appropriately by providing content that you have created or URLs to accounts that you are submitting images/social media posts/videos of. Documentation of these communications is already underway because we know that future historians will be interested in why, how, and when the University made decisions regarding its response to the pandemic.

While we ask for your email address upon submission, we will never place you on an email list or share your information.


Contact University Archives and Special Collections staff with questions, comments, or suggestion.


Telephone: 513-745-4821

* This list (and project) is greatly inspired by the Milwaukee Coronavirus Digital Archive and contributions from students in Dr. Amy Whipple's HIST 476 Britain and World War II seminar.

Make a Contribution

Submission Terms and Conditions

All contributions will be assigned a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International license. This license means that deposited works cannot be used commercially or changed in any way, and any authorized use must be properly attributed. Submissions will be accompanied by a copyright statement indicating the author’s continuing rights.

Digital Collection Website

Project Contribution Video Instructions