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Chicago’s Community Response to COVID-19

In This Together is a community-based initiative to collect digital records that document personal experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all affected by this crisis in varying degrees, and diaries, journals, oral histories, images, recordings, and similar materials will help us tell stories of this unprecedented time in history. Personal accounts provide depth and context for what an event or era was like for the everyday people experiencing it. Gathering this type of information about the COVID-19 pandemic in the Chicago area will be important for people to understand this period of our history.

We invite those of you living in Chicago and its surrounding metropolitan area to contribute any digital records that document your experience and that of your community during the COVID-19 pandemic. These could include digital journal entries, audio/video recordings, images, or emails. Submissions can be made with smartphones, tablets, or computers. To contribute a physical item, please use our donation inquiry form.

Selected submissions will be displayed here. Due to the volume of submissions, we are unable to notify you if your submission is posted, but you can check the page for regular updates.

Tips for Capturing Your Experience
As a starting point, try writing between 250 to 500 words, or if you are recording your thoughts, between 30 seconds and 3 minutes of sound/video recording.

  • Tell us about yourself and what do you do (age range, work/school, neighborhood/community/organization, family/household)?
  • How has your life changed?
  • What activities are you doing now that you didn’t do before the pandemic?
  • Are there any pandemic-related signs (e.g., business closure, delivery, etc.) up in your area?
  • Are there deserted spaces, or other places that look and feel very different now?
  • How have communities that you are involved in changed their practices?
  • How are you staying connected to friends and family?
  • What are things you don’t miss?
  • Is there anything you will miss when stay-at-home orders lift?
  • What are the moments you won’t forget?
  • What new habits or ways of doing things have developed in the last few weeks? Will you keep any of these after the pandemic?
  • How have your friends and loved ones been affected?
  • How do you think you, your family, or our city will be impacted in the future?
Frequently Asked Questions

What can I submit?

Please submit audio/video recordings, written entries, emails, and images that you create. Examples include: a journal-style entry, images of places, signage, or experiences in your daily life, a piece of visual or written art you created, or an email you wrote.

What if someone else created it?

If you want to submit items created by someone else, please ask that person to submit the items themselves so they can review and agree to the Terms and Conditions.  Please ask permission from other people before recording or photographing them.

In some cases, such as if you record or photograph signs or artwork created by someone else, please indicate so in the Text Submissions box and include the creator’s name, if known.

How do I submit?

If you have media files (images, video, or audio), drag and drop or browse for them in the Submit File(s) to COVID-19 box in Part 1 of the form. Make sure you enter a description and your email when prompted. Then press “submit.” If successful, you will see a confirmation window within the box.

Next, tell us about these experiences in Part 2, like where and when they were taken or recorded. If you only want to submit a written experience, you don’t need to upload anything; please just copy and paste or write your experience directly in the text submissions box and fill out the other form questions.

What if I need to make changes to my submission?

Please email if you would like to make changes to your submission.

What if my work was uploaded without my permission?

Using the template below, please fill in the details indicated in parentheses and email the template to

RE: Copyright Claim

To: Chicago History Museum

I am the copyright owner of the work being infringed at (insert link). The material consists of (insert description of work). I request that you immediately take down this work and discontinue using it in the future. Please be advised that the law requires you to “expeditiously remove or disable access to” the infringing content upon receipt of this notice.

I have good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of here is not authorized by me, the copyright holder, and that there is no legal basis for the use of these materials. The information provided here is accurate to the best of my knowledge. I swear under penalty of perjury that I am authorized to act on the behalf of the copyright owner.

Please send me, at the address noted below, a prompt response indicating the actions you have taken to resolve this matter.


(Your Name)

(Electronic signature)

(Your Address – email or physical)

COVID-19 Submission Form

  • Part 1: Upload Your Materials

    Upload your visual, audio, and video materials in the box below. Once your file is selected you will be asked to provide a description of the item (limit 255 characters) and an email address. You must click the "Upload" button to submit. Then continue to fill out the form below. Please keep audio and video files to 3 minutes or less. File size cannot exceed 250MB. ZIP files will not be accepted. If you have larger files or more than five files you would like to submit, please contact us. (Note: On mobile devices, the upload box may work better in landscape or sideways orientation.)
  • If you would like to tell us more about your submitted files or share a narrative or testimonial, please submit it via this text box. Write or paste your text directly in the box, continue filling out Part 2 of the form, and click "Submit" at the bottom of the page. Please keep submissions to under 500 words.
  • Part 2: Tell Us About Yourself and Your Submission

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Street address is preferred; if no street address is available, provide nearest cross streets, neighborhood, or area of the city. If your submission does not depict Chicago, please include the name of the city.
  • If your submission is selected to be displayed, what name would you like published with it? If you do not provide a name, your name will be listed as Anonymous.
  • Your email address will not be made public.
    If yes, please ensure that the email address entered above is one where you can be reached.
  • Terms and Conditions

    Digital materials you submit must be wholly original and created by you.

    You retain ownership and copyright of your digital materials. By submitting copies of your digital materials to the Chicago History Museum, you warrant that you are the sole copyright owner and have obtained permission from all subjects to share the digital materials with CHM. You permit the museum to preserve, reproduce, and distribute your work. This permission includes the right to modify and/or reformat your material to conform to museum standards, and to make your submission publicly available in all media formats (including the Museum's social media, SoundCloud, and YouTube accounts) and to permit others to do so as well.

    For information about the museum’s policies regarding access to digital content, please see its Take Down Policy.

    The Chicago History Museum is under no obligation to use or publish your contribution.

    Contributed digital materials must conform to the following criteria:
    1. Content documents Chicago-area personal, business, or organizational experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    2. File size of contributed content does not exceed 250MB.
    3. The information or metadata submitted is deemed to be accurate; the Museum is not responsible for vetting this information.
    4. Submissions do not infringe any existing copyright.

If you have any questions or are having trouble with your submission, please contact us at

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories