We have compiled the below set of instructions, tips, and resources to help those wishing to submit digital files for the Emerson Endures: Documenting Our Shared COVID-19 Experience project.
Accepted File Formats
- Supported Poem/Story/Written Materials file formats are: .PDF, .DOC, .DOCX, .TXT, .RTF
- Supported Image file formats are: .JPEG, .JPG, .TIF, .TIFF, .PNG, .GIF
- Supported Audio recording file formats are: .MP3, .AIF, .AIFF, .WMA, .WAV
- Supported Moving Image recording file formats are: .MPG, .MPEG, MP4, .MOV, .M4V, .AVI
File Size Limits
Files above 30 GB will not be accepted. However, to keep upload times to a minimum we suggest projects be limited to 20 GB or less.
For technical support, please contact Michelle Romero at michelle_romero2 [at] emerson.edutitle="Email Technical Support".
Prompts & Interview Questions
- Interview someone you know about how their life has been impacted by COVID-19 (see interview question suggestions below).
- Record pleasant sounds you hear every day that comfort you during this uncertain time: birds chirping, kids laughing, family at dinner, etc.
- Record the sights in your neighborhood, what do you see and hear?
- Create and record a dance that represents the impact of COVID-19 on you, your family, your friends and/or society.
- Perform a song or musical piece you have composed about the pandemic.
- Recite a monologue you have created about your life during the pandemic.
- What is your name, age, current location, role at Emerson, year, major?
- Tell me about your daily life now. How has it changed since being in isolation?
- How do you feel about being encouraged to stay home?
- How has your experience of time shifted or changed?
- What emotions have you and/or your family experienced?
- What are your feelings about the college being closed for the rest of the year?
- How have you balanced work and life?
- How are you maintaining connections with people outside of your household?
- What experiences away from home do you miss the most?
- With whom do you miss most spending in-person time? How do you keep in contact now?
- How have you felt about spending more in-person time with immediate family members or roommates?
- How did you explain the situation to your children? How have they reacted to not going to school, seeing their friends, etc.
- What has changed about the role of technology in your life as a result of the pandemic?
- What have you been doing to fight boredom or keep distracted/occupied?
- What good & bad things have happened? Have you found any “silver linings” in this situation?
- Have you learned any new skills or hobbies during your time in isolation?
- What are you most worried about now?
- Write about your reaction to the pandemic and the impact it has had on your life. What are your current fears, difficulties, and joys?
- Have you created new cooking recipes using the dregs of your pantry or refrigerator?
- Have you invented new games or activities to help pass the time?
- Write a story about a child attempting to understand all the changes that have taken place as the pandemic has become more severe.
- Write a poem about how the pandemic has changed society.
Artwork and Images
- Create a drawing, painting, meme, comic, or zine of something you associate with this time or represents this pandemic for you and then send us a scan or photograph of it.
- Take a photograph of yourself/someone with whom you live doing an activity (leisure or work) that has become more important to you/them during the pandemic.
Recording Tips (For Audio & Video Submissions)
- The websites below have useful information about audio and video recording. If you have any suggestions for other resources please contact us at archives [at] emerson.edutitle="Email Emerson Archives".
- Apple: How to Edit Videos on Your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Mac
- BBC: Smartphone Journalism Video
- CNBC (Audio & Video): How to Shoot Better Video With Your Phone
- LinkedIn Learning: Android Phone and Tablet Video Recording (Emerson login required)
- New York Heritage Digital Collections (Audio & Video): Recording Oral Histories: Audio Recording Procedures
- Vermont Folklife Center (Audio): Recording Interviews & Sounds In Person
- Vermont Folklife Center (Audio & Video): Recording Interviews Remotely
- Find a quiet place & talk with someone in your household - at a safe 6 ft. distance! You may also record a remote interview with someone who can’t be with you in-person.
- Set up your smartphone, digital camera, or other audio recorder & make sure it is recording clearly.
- View our Recording Tips and Technical Specifications sections for more information.
Start a Conversation
- A great interview starts with a great conversation. All you need are the skills you use every day when talking and listening to people.
- Start by asking and/or stating some basic information (date, name of interviewer and interviewee, age of interviewee, interviewee location).
- Ask open-ended questions that might inspire more thoughtful and personal answers. How a question is phrased has a huge impact on the kinds of answers you will receive. Open-ended questions can’t be answered by a simple “yes” or a “no”.
- Ask questions that don’t sound like questions, but invite the speaker to elaborate. For example: “Tell me about…”
- Click here for examples of interview questions.
- The primary purpose of your interview is to gather the personal reflections and stories of your interviewee. While your questions and your perspectives get the conversation going, you’ll also want to:
- Listen attentively.
- Reflect on what you hear.
- Allow the person you’re interviewing the time and space to share their story. Do not talk over their response or interrupt them. This is especially important if you want to make a clear audio recording of the interview. Although silence can feel awkward, it sometimes allows the speaker to gather and articulate their thoughts.
- Ask thoughtful and engaging follow-up questions.
- When we interact with people from the same cultural background, we are able to pick up certain cues and understand reactions during communication. Be mindful and respectful of any cultural codes of communication that may be different from your own.
- When you are done, you are welcome to switch roles, become the interviewee, and capture your own story!
Don’t Forget A Photo
- We’d like to put faces to the stories we receive. If you are sending audio only, please include a picture of the person you interviewed—and/or of both of you together!