The UCLA Library Center for Oral History Research, which collects interviews related to the history of Southern California and the Los Angeles region, has launched a new project called “UCLA in LA: The Coronavirus Years.” Bruins and members of the broader UCLA community, like students’ parents and people who live in Westwood, are invited to share their pandemic perspectives, including efforts to retrain for teaching and learning, disrupted educational and employment plans, managing home life, experiences of inequality, participation in social justice movements, and insights from health care and essential work settings.
“The Coronavirus Years” oral histories will be archived by the UCLA Library for research and study by future generations. Narrators willing to make their interviews public will be featured in the center’s online C-19 Pandemic Collection, joining voices in other oral history collections which range from Buddhism and business to social movements and American Indian history.
“The center is interested in collecting all perspectives and communities and would like to hear from anyone who has a story to tell and wants to add their voice to this record of our time,” said Teresa Barnett, head of the UCLA Center for Oral History Research. “By collecting the voices of today, narrators have the opportunity to be represented in UCLA’s historical record.”
Narrators sought include those representing marginalized communities where the pandemic has both exacerbated inequalities and also united them against injustice; faculty who have had to retrain themselves in new technologies and methods, while offering support to students who are experiencing new pressures; UCLA health care workers who have been working with COVID-19 patients and families, and students whose educational plans have been disrupted.
Hour-long interviews will be conducted via video using Zoom or over the telephone based on the narrator’s preference, and narrators will be asked to submit photos as part of the record.
To be considered for the “UCLA in L.A.: The Coronavirus Years” oral history project, please fill out the linked registration form.