This collection of oral histories was gathered by Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) students from throughout the state during the months of January and February 2021 to capture the experiences of people living during the SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic. This COVID-19 pandemic touched everyone, students and teachers, funeral directors and medical professionals, young and old. With the support of the New Hampshire Humanities Collaborative, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, students recorded these histories, primarily using Zoom video conferencing platform, but sometimes with masked coworkers or in a shared home or workplace.
Oral histories provide subjective memories of a time, a lens into deeply personal experiences, joys, and struggles. They are not intended to be an objective historical account, nor to provide medical advice on evolving areas, such as vaccination or mask-wearing. As the Oral History Association states, “Oral history is a field of study and a method of gathering, preserving and interpreting the voices and memories of people, communities, and participants in past events.” This archive provides an array of those connected with our CCSNH system in some way—a relative of a student who suffered with COVID and survived despite a double-lung transplant, a parent of a NH college student who lost both parents to the virus, a student completing courses through her Concord campus from South Korea, a journalist writing of the pandemic in NH, and so many others.
These community college students and many others presented their work at a scholarly system-wide symposium, “Making Sense of COVID,” via Zoom on February 26, 2021. Students in the physical sciences, social sciences, and humanities came together to share their research. The students involved with this COVID Diaries oral history project shared the compilation video here, which provides a synthesis of the interviews, and discussed this important work. This archive includes all of the audio and video recordings and will stand as an record of this time in New Hampshire and the work of our CCSNH students.
Community College (CC) Interviewers: