Together/Apart: The COVID-19 Community Memory Archive
Scope and Contents
The Together/Apart North San Diego COVID-19 Community Memory Archive was created by the University Library, California State University San Marcos, in response to the arrival of the COVID-19 disease in California and its related societal impacts beginning in March of 2020. The collection is a participatory archive that utilized community participation from individuals that lived, worked, or studied in North San Diego County and Southern Riverside County in 2020-2022. Contributors had the option to contribute anonymously; in such cases, their identities have been redacted and their information not kept. Submissions to Together/Apart totaled 606 digital files submitted by San Diego County residents and California State University students, staff, and faculty, and also contains 3 linear feet of physical materials.
Materials submitted to the archive came from community members within CSUSM's service area as well as students, staff, faculty, and administrators at the university. Materials were submitted in a variety of formats including PDF, Doc, TIFF, JPEG, PNG, MP3, and MP4. In some instances, formats of materials have been normalized for future digital preservation and access. Physical items largely are ephemera or documents related to the pandemic in some way, such as newspaper clippings or health fliers.
Broadly speaking, recurring themes in the collection include exploration of emotional states such as isolation, depression, and resilience. Students often speak of the change of shifting to an entirely online educational experience in 2020. Contributors also often speak to shutdown and quarantine, the health of themselves and family members, contraction of COVID-19, sickness and death of family and friends, and working during the pandemic (or conversely, not working due to the pandemic). Less common themes also include racism, politics, Black Lives Matter, moving back home, and the beginnings or endings of romantic and platonic relationships. Images submitted are mostly documentary photography, with some creative works as well. Video files tend to be creative/interpretive in nature, while the audio files, which all originated from a class doing podcasts, tend to be focused on documenting lived experience around some specific topic.
- 2020-03-18 - 2022-05-22
- California State University San Marcos. University Library (Organization)
Language of Materials
Most textual materials are written in English. Some textual materials also have some Spanish-language writing. Most video and audio materials are English-language.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research. Some items have been reformatted and have digital preservation copies. In such cases, researchers may request listening/viewing/reading copies. The Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room is accessible by appointment only, Monday-Friday, 8am - 4pm. Final requests for materials must be made one hour prior to closing. Please submit requests for archival materials at least 24 hours in advance of desired appointment. Materials requested over the weekend will be available on the following Tuesday at the earliest. Please note that Special Collections and University Archives observes all campus holiday closures as noted in the Library Calendar. For more information, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conditions Governing Use
Property rights reside with university. Copyrights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs.
Contributors have granted a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to California State University San Marcos and its agents to preserve, display, reproduce, transmit, publish, republish, and distribute their work as part of Together/Apart: The COVID-19 Community Memory Archive. This permission includes the right to modify and/or reformat the work as necessary for preservation, publicity, and/or access purposes, and to make it available for educational, research, and promotional purposes outside of the Archive, in perpetuity and in all mediums and media formats hereafter. For permission to reproduce or to publish, please contact email@example.com.
Permission to examine Library materials is not authorization to publish or to reproduce the examined material in whole, or in part. Persons wishing to quote, publish, perform, reproduce, or otherwise make use of an item in the Library’s collections must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of the copyright holder.
The researcher assumes full responsibility for use of the material and agrees to hold harmless the University Library, and California State University, against all claims, demands, costs, and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of the Library's materials.
In assuming full responsibility for use of the material, the researcher also understands that the materials they examine may contain Social Security numbers, other personal identifiers, and/or sensitive material on potentially living and identifiable individuals (e.g., medical, evaluative, or personally invasive information). The researcher agrees not to record, reproduce, or disclose any Social Security number or other information of a highly personal nature that may be found.
3 Linear Feet
The Together/Apart North San Diego COVID-19 Community Memory Archive was created by the University Library, California State University San Marcos, in response to the arrival of the COVID-19 disease in California and its related societal impacts beginning in March of 2020. The collection is a particiaptory archive that utilized community participation from individuals that lived, worked, or studied in North San Diego County and Southern Riverside County in 2020-2022. The collection consists of 606 digital files submitted by San Diego County residents and California State University students, staff, and faculty. The collection also contains 3 linear feet of physical materials.
Together/Apart has been arranged into 8 series. Most of the contributions to Together/Apart are born-digital submissions; they have been described to the item level. Physical contributions to the Archive have been described to the file or item level, depending on the resource.
Series one, A Glass Half Full (2020-06-18 to 2021-01-19): conributions related to San Diego's craft brewing industry, processed and described to the item level. Series two, Audio Files (2020-11-25 to 2021-04-23): podcasts created by students in the Art, Media, and Design program. Processed and described to the item level. Series three, Image Files (2020-03-18 to 2022-05-22): photographs, artwork, and similar two-dimensional, non-textual submissions. Processed and described to the item level. Series four, Office of Communications student stories (2020-04-06 to 2020-05-09): items submitted to Together/Apart through the Office of Communications, which ran a student engagement project in April of 2020 as a means to keep students connected to campus during the shutdown. Processed and described to the item level. Series five, physical donations (2020-04 to 2021): various physical items, mostly ephemera and documents, that are described to the file or item level. Series six, Share Your Story (2020-04-20 to 2022-05-16): textual information gathered from forms available on the Together/Apart submission portal. Processed and described to the item level. Series seven, text files (2020-04-21 to 2021-11-11): creative writing, poetry, and essays submitted to Together/Apart via the online submission portal or through class assignments. Processed and described to the item level. Series eight, video files (2020-03-23 to 2021-05-13): videos produced by classes or by members of the community. Processed and described to the item level. Some submissions were posted on Youtube or Venmo as well - in such cases, links are provided in the item's description. Series nine, demographic information: some demographic information was gathered, mostly from class assignments. In instances where demographic information were collected, that information has been collated into a spreadsheet that consists of this series.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Submissions to Together/Apart were gathered through classroom assignments and extra credit opportunities, community outreach, our web submission portal, and through the Office of Communications.
Statement on Potentially Harmful Language and Content in our Records and Resources
Processed by Sean Visintainer, May 2022 - October 2022. Some digital resources have had files normalized for digital preservation purposes. When item titles and description was provided by submitters, it was used in the inventory. When description was created by the Library at the item title or scope and content level, [brackets] have been used to denote Library-created language and clarifications.
- 25 digital files
- COVID-19 (Disease)
- COVID-19 (Disease) -- Diagnosis
- COVID-19 (Disease) -- Economic aspects
- COVID-19 (Disease) -- Government policy
- COVID-19 (Disease) -- Health aspects
- COVID-19 (Disease) -- Law and legislation
- COVID-19 (Disease) -- Mexico
- COVID-19 (Disease) -- Political aspects
- COVID-19 (Disease) -- Religious aspects
- COVID-19 (Disease) -- Safety measures
- COVID-19 (Disease) -- San Diego County (Calif.)
- COVID-19 (Disease) -- Social aspects
- COVID-19 (Disease) -- Transmission
- COVID-19 (Disease) -- Vaccination
- COVID-19 (Disease) and the arts
- COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020-2023
- Riverside County (Calif.)
- San Diego County (Calif.)
- Guide to the Together/Apart:The COVID-19 Community Memory Archive
- Sean Visintainer
- Language of description
- Script of description