“In creating a Covid-19 Digital Archive while the record is still fresh, the Fordham University Library has created a repository of documents and images that will be of enduring value not merely to historians of this University, but to anyone studying higher education or crisis management. I applaud the archivists’ alacrity and industry in assembling what is already an impressive collection, and I encourage members of the University community to continue contributing their Covid-19-related material to the digital archive.” – Joseph M. McShane, S.J., President

The Fordham University COVID-19 Digital Archive

On March 11th, 2020, Fordham University moved its classes online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 22nd, 2020, the university closed all three campuses in accordance with Governor Cuomo’s executive order. Since that time, life has drastically changed for all members of the university community.

In response to this historic moment, the Fordham University Library has launched the Fordham University COVID-19 Digital Archive. This digital collection documents the unique experiences of the Fordham students, faculty, and staff who have been affected by the pandemic.

With the support of departments across the university, including the Office of the President and the Office of the Provost, a team of library staff members led by Mariah Lewis, Metadata Management Librarian, and Laura Childs, Emerging Technologies Librarian, is actively collecting a variety of digital materials that will be part of the archive. The collection process is ongoing, and new items are being added nearly every day.

While there is plenty of content on the web right now that we can easily view at any time, that may not always be the case. Digital materials can easily be lost because of an expired website, human error, or even censorship. Archiving those materials now is a step toward preserving them for many future Fordham generations.

“An archive by definition is a memory institution for a place, a people, a culture. It is our intent that the Fordham University Covid-19 Digital Archive will be a repository of all that came about during an unprecedented time in the history of this great institution. I am confident that when the story is told, our Archive will show how the Fordham community rose to this exceptionally difficult time with urgency tempered by thoughtfulness, intelligence guided by pragmatism, and confidence combined with compassion.” – Linda LoSchiavo, Director of Libraries, Fordham University

One of our goals with the COVID-19 Archive is to capture a full picture of the community, with a wide spectrum of voices represented. The library has partnered with student newspapers The Observer, The Ram, and The Paper to include their coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic in the archive. We are excited for these collaborations to help ensure that the perspective of the student body is represented in the collection.

Issues of The Observer that report on COVID-19 are being archived.

Along with students and administrators, Fordham faculty members are also contributing to the archive. Episodes of the Twice Over podcast will be archived, thanks to the generosity of hosts Dr. Anne Fernald (Professor of English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Special Advisor to the Provost for Faculty Development) and Dr. Steven D’Agustino (Director of Online Learning). Their podcast has been providing guidance to faculty during the sudden transition to online learning throughout the pandemic.

We Can’t Do This Alone

To all Fordham students, faculty, and staff: we invite you to share your story and join us in building this important record of Fordham’s history. Your voice matters.

We are accepting digital contributions only at this time, and we are open to a wide range of formats*. These include:

  • Photographs documenting life during the lockdown and in the days leading up to campus closure.
  • Creative works such as personal journals, artwork, poems, and other creative forms of expression.
  • Podcasts detailing the experiences of coronavirus or other related topics.
  • Course materials, such as syllabi, created/modified for courses in light of circumstances arising from COVID-19.
  • University communications and correspondence received by students, staff, and faculty relating to classes, housing, campus operations, specific academic departments, etc.
  • Social media posts. 
  • Blog posts and articles written by those affiliated with the university.
  • …and more!

*Please note that you must be the creator/copyright holder of any items you submit for consideration or receive written permission from the creator/copyright holder to share it.

To contribute, please fill out the submission form. If you have questions, please email us at digitalcollections@fordham.edu.

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