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Share Your Experience

This website is part of the Office of NIH History and Stetten Museum’s documentation of the NIH’s role during the COVID-19 pandemic by capturing the professional and personal experiences of NIH government employees, contractors, trainees, and volunteers. Your contribution to "Behind the Mask" will be the primary source material historians will use to understand this critical time.

If you have questions, please contact us at

This collage is composed of a cartoon on the left of a personified COVID Virus screaming at a person in scrubs holding a syringe. The right two panels are nurses in scrubs and masks in the clinical center. Graphic by MJ Hiblen @Instagram
Photographs by the NIH Clinical Center ICU Team

Your professional or personal experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic are unique and can be communicated in whatever way that you feel fitting. For work-related content, you can submit as a team or a department. Some ideas include but are not limited to:

  • Filling out the questionnaire 
  • Participating in a short virtual interview 
  • Videos or audio recordings that you have created
  • Photographs
  • 2D and 3D Artwork
  • Blogs and social media posts
  • Poetry, prose, essays, and journal entries
  • Spreadsheets, presentations, and other work-related projects

  • A origami flower made from hospital wristbands

    Artwork: Coronavirus Flower, Adam Sanchez, CC

  • Essays: Life During the Pandemic, Gordon Margolin, OD

  • screenshot from video conference showing a woman gesturing with her hands as she speaks

    Interviews: Lili Portilla, NCATS

  • image of a device submission

    Scientific or Clinical Instrumentation: 3D Printed Nasal Swab, SPIS, CIT

  • Screen capture from a video submission

    Videos: Random Reflections from Caroline, Caroline Goon, OD

  • The Role of Cytokines in Covid-19 poster

    Presentations: The Role of Cytokines in COVID-19, Howard Young, NCI

  • A man on a stretcher is being transported out of an ambulance by two people in personal protective equipment.

    Photographs: Taking the 2nd Patient with COVID into the CC, Jeff Strich (not photographer), CC

  • COVID-19 Scientific Diagram

    Graphics: Alex Compton, NCI

  • Work-Related Materials: Patient Recruitment Poster, Omar Echegoyen, CC

Answer questions and submit digital files that document your experience with this form. Answer as many or as few questions as you would like. Be sure to read the permission agreements at the end of the form. 

Submit Your Story

We have conducted virtual interviews with NIH staff who work in divisions across the organization. These interviews can be performed individually or with colleagues and team members. The written transcripts are posted as quickly as possible on the oral history page of the Office of NIH History and Stetten Museum.  With permission, the video components will be available to view online and may be featured in future digital exhibits and publications.

If you would like to do a short interview with us about your work, please contact 

Do you have physical items that capture your experience during the pandemic? We are looking for artifacts such as scientific instruments or personal objects. Many of these objects will be used by the NIH Stetten Museum and loaned to other museums such as the Smithsonian for future exhibits. Please contact us at

Deed of Gift form (pdf, 12kb)

  • We are accepting submissions in languages other than English.
  • Please do not include personal health information in your submissions for the privacy rights of those involved. 
  • Please be mindful of infringing on the intellectual property of others.
  • We will acknowledge receipt of your submission.
  • The Office of NIH History and Stetten Museum has the right to reject any submission or component of a submission that it considers duplicative, inappropriate, or outside the scope of the project.
  • There is no deadline to submit materials as the pandemic continues. We estimate that the submission element of this project will last through 2021.
  • Submissions will not be accessible immediately for public viewing.  After we process and curate the materials, they will be available for historic scholarship.  By the end of 2021, we hope to show many of these digital documents on our website, and we plan to feature a selection of the submissions in forthcoming exhibits and publications.  
  • If you have concerns about maintaining your privacy, questions regarding sensitivity to information disclosed, or dissatisfaction with the way your submission is represented online, please reach out to the Office of NIH History and Stetten Museum at

If you have questions about how your submission would fit into our repository, accessibility requirements, or need technical assistance, please contact Gabrielle Barr at