COVID-19 Collection

SHARE YOUR STORY: COVID-19 Collection Project


Memphis has always been populated by an amazing blend of many different types of people. We are creative, soulful, strong, and resilient. We are survivors.

The city has survived and flourished after many hardships, including the devastating Yellow Fever epidemics of the 1870s, the Spanish Flu epidemic just after World War I, and the catastrophic floods of the early 20th century. With the Covid-19 global pandemic, we are facing another challenge – one that we will also see each other through, in all of our unique ways as Memphians.

For over 100 years Memphis Public Libraries have documented and preserved the history of the people that have kept this city going through tough times. We want to hear from you!

The Memphis and Shelby County Room houses many resources that document how Memphians have made it through difficult times, and we want to hear how you are coping during the Novel Coronavirus pandemic. We will gather and preserve these stories to create a record of how Memphians hustle, manage, get by, and help each other. Your account will help inspire and teach future Memphians, just like we learn from the stories of those who lived here before us and helped build this funky and gritty city we love.

Scroll down for details on how you can share your story and/or donate your digital or physical material.



We’re inviting the community to share both digital and physical items, as well as your lived experiences during this time. To submit your personal story, please use form below. If you’d like to donate material, scroll down to the next section.


Please share digital material that captures what it’s like to live through this pandemic. This may include photographs of people waiting in lines, empty grocery store shelves, or inspiring words and messages your neighbors have displayed. Submissions must be in digital form and may include:

  • Digital photographs
  • Emails, scanned letters, and other correspondence
  • Journal entries
  • Blog or social media posts
  • Photographs and scans of notices or signs
  • Creative works such as drawings, paintings, and poetry
  • Audio or video files

Prior to submitting your digital file, we ask that you please provide any details you know about the item (date, location taken, names of people in the photographs, etc.).

To get started on your submission, please click HERE.


Do you have any paper physical items you would be willing to donate to the Memphis and Shelby County Room that would be included in a collection related to the pandemic? We would love to have items such as flyers announcing closures, your child’s artwork, or anything else you can think of. These items will be collected once the Safer at Home order has been lifted. Unfortunately, the Memphis and Shelby County Room is unable to collect and house three-dimensional objects. If you have any additional questions about donating physical items, contact us at


If you are gifting material to Memphis Public Libraries, you must agree to the following statement granting the library permission to use and/or showcase your items:

As owner of the material being submitted, I do grant and convey title relinquishing all rights of ownership to Memphis Public Libraries for inclusion in its collections and subject to the administration by and of its policies and staff. I hereby dedicate to the public such literary rights as I may possess in these materials. It is agreed that should any part of the donation to Memphis Public Libraries be found to include printed or other materials which the library deems inappropriate for permanent retention, the library may dispose of the material in accordance with its procedure for disposition of material not needed for the library’s collection.

I confirm that I am 18 years of age or older. If you are under the age of 18, please ask your parent or guardian to submit material on your behalf.