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The Seattle COVID-19 Oral History Project (SCOHP) is a research project dedicated to collecting the stories of local workers, especially those from marginalized communities, whose lives have been impacted by COVID-19. The project will create an oral history archive so both students and researchers can have access to firsthand accounts of the effects of the pandemic on individuals and communities. Interviewees will include some or all of the following: labor leaders and union organizers, essential workers, those who have been laid off, healthcare workers at the forefront of the pandemic response, and recent immigrants or refugee workers.

Many institutions of higher education have sponsored similar oral history projects documenting daily life during the pandemic and the effects of COVID-19 on their local communities. These include, but are not limited to, Columbia University’s NYC Covid-19 Oral History, Narrative and Memory Archive, Princeton University’s “COVID-19 and Me” initiative, Tufts University’s COVID-19 Documentation Project, and one sponsored by the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women at Brown University.

This project will follow all COVID-19 safety precautions, and all interviews and project meetings will take place remotely.


Seeking Help

We are looking to hire six to ten student interns who will administer and transcribe interviews and assist in general project operations throughout Winter and Spring 2021. Interns will be trained in oral history methods and gain knowledge of the experiences of workers in the local community. The deadline to apply is Monday, January 11, 2021 at 11:59 PM. The position description and application form are available HERE. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to reach out! Our Contacts are listed below. 



We are sponsored by the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies and the Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety.

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Our partner organizations include the following:    

Labor Archives of Washington (LAW)
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Asian and Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), Seattle Chapter
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Service Employees International Union 1199 NW 


Oral History Toolkit

The oral history training toolkit aims to provide students with learning resources to equip them with skills and knowledge related to the various aspects of conducting an oral history project. These include preparing for interviews, administering interviews, transcription and preservation, publication and access, technology-related information, and protecting the rights and respecting the wishes of the individuals being interviewed.

Here are training slides created by Conor Casey, Director of the Labor Archives of Washington (LAW), and which provide an overview of the steps necessary for the collection and preservation of oral histories:
[Training Slides TBD]

The Oral History Association’s list of best practices is linked HERE 

Information about protecting the rights of those being interviewed from the University of Washington’s Human Subjects Division (HSD) is included [here] (insert: relevant links or file downloads)

Information about technology used throughout this process, such as internet and video conferencing tools, can be found HERE



For more information or questions, please contact Research Project Lead, Wendi Zhou at wzhou1@uw.edu or Yasmin Ahmed, Assistant Director of Student and Community Engagement, at ypahmed@uw.edu.