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The COVID Tracking Project Archive

The COVID Tracking Project (CTP) was a volunteer organization launched from The Atlanticand dedicated to collecting and publishing the data required to understand the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States.

Every day from March 7, 2020 to March 7, 2021, they collected data on COVID-19 testing and patient outcomes from all 50 states, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia. Their dataset was in use by national and local news organizations across the United States and by research projects and agencies worldwide. The over 800 volunteers and project staff built a large online-only community of people from a broad set of backgrounds, and developed a unique culture of work and community.

The UCSF Archives and Special Collections department is working with former CTP volunteers and staff to document the public work and internal community of the project. The collection includes public websites, white papers, and datasets that were critical to a national understanding the pandemic in a critical time.

Online platforms such as Slack and Google Apps were critical to the daily operation of CTP, but these systems have never been archived for future researchers at a large scale. The archival process includes building open-source tools for the retrieval of data from hosted products and storing them in a format that future researchers can access and understand.