COVID-19 Documentation Strategy

The University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services (UTARMS) is actively supporting the preservation of records documenting COVID-19-related initiatives, communication, and decision making. The documentation of these activities aims to provide future generations of researchers insight into and evidence of U of T’s administrative, research, and educational response to the pandemic, as well as reflecting the interests and concerns of U of T communities more broadly.

The following is an overview of our efforts to support and collect documentation from key areas:

Administrative decision-making

  • University administrative records will continue to be received through UTARMS’ records management programme.
  • UTARMS is reaching out to offices and units to gain fuller understanding on the rapid shifts in processes and infrastructure (technological and otherwise) as well as tracking new initiatives developed that might require proactive approach.


  • University communications are acquired through our records management programme, web-archiving and periodical collections. Additional work is being done to develop criteria specific to the COVID-19 pandemic which we are using to review and add to our list of websites to capture, as well as institutional social media accounts and online periodicals.
    • We regularly collect and make available for research web-based University records and related materials, including Provost Memos, calendars, and news sites. These materials are available in the University of Toronto Archives Web Collection.
    • The Archives has expanded this work during the pandemic, adding dozens of sites related to the University and the U of T community’s response to COVID-19. These can be found in the COVID-19 in Toronto Collection.
  • We are also working to track communication initiatives that have developed out of the COVID-19 pandemic, for example through podcasts and dedicated websites.

Research and teaching

  • Records related to teaching and research are acquired by UTARMS through both the transfer of administrative records as well as the private papers of faculty and staff.
  • UTARMS is reaching out to specific units to better understand the quickly changing research and teaching environment and encourages staff and faculty to contact us with any questions or concerns regarding the organization and preservation of records.
  • UTARMS is tracking publicly noted COVID-19-related research taking place at U of T to evaluate and potentially acquire these records in the future.

Experiences of U of T faculty, staff and students

  • Through the COVID-19 Collecting Community Experience Project, UTARMS is interested in capturing first-person testimony from U of T’s community of students, staff, alumni and faculty to document the perspectives and lived experiences of the many individuals who shape the University.

Last updated: 2020-06-08