The Journal of the Plague Year: A COVID-19 Archive (JOTPY) is a digital, crowdsourced archive collecting pandemic stories from around the globe. It encourages students and the public to submit stories of personal experiences during the pandemic. The project builds on the rich work of rapid-response archives in museum studies, oral history, anthropology, and disaster studies. JOTPY reconceptualizes the COVID-19 pandemic as a “slow disaster”: not a singular crisis, but an ongoing calamity provoked by deep historical, sociopolitical, and cultural processes that COVID-19 both reflects and highlights. In order to address the challenges of documenting a slow disaster, we propose employing the rolling-response archive model. We argue that the current pandemic has changed our understanding of crises and of how to document them ethically and equitably.

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