Pandemic Diaries: Julie Golia, Julia Kwon, Jeremiah Moss, and Camilo José Vergara

Wed. Mar 15, 2023 7:00pm - 8:00pm EDT
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Approaching the third anniversary of the city’s shutdown, new archival, photographic, and literary projects reflect back on New York’s early pandemic days.


  • Julie Golia, Curator of The Pandemic Diaries and Associate Director of Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books and Charles J. Liebman Curator of Manuscripts at The New York Public Library

  • Julia Kwon, interdisciplinary artist best known for her bojagi-inspired artwork

  • Jeremiah Moss, author of Feral City: On Finding Liberation in Lockdown New York

  • Camilo José Vergara, photographer and creator of the Pandemic Diary

In 2020 The New York Public Library launched the Pandemic Diaries project, inviting people to submit audio recordings of themselves and their loved ones telling personal stories about life amid the pandemic. Collecting those stories for over a year, the project captures a moment in time, in the City and beyond, as told by the voices who lived through it. In honor of the collection becoming publicly accessible this year, join one of the project’s leaders alongside writers and artists whose own unique work grappled with similar experiences in the early days of the pandemic through different mediums.

Presented as The Richard B. Salomon Distinguished Lecture.

To join the event in-person | Doors will open 30 minutes before the program begins. For free events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Priority will be given to those who have registered in advance, but registration does not guarantee admission. All registered seats are released shortly before start time, and seats may become available at that time. A standby line will form 30 minutes before the program.

To join the livestream | A livestream of this event will be available on the NYPL event page. To receive an email reminder shortly in advance of the event, please be sure to register! If you encounter any issues, please join us on NYPL's YouTube channel.


Julie Golia headshotJulie Golia is a historian of media and gender, an acclaimed curator, and an award-winning educator. Currently, she is the Associate Director for Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books and the Charles J. Liebman Curator of Manuscripts at The New York Public Library. Julie has led important collecting and outreach initiatives at the Library, including History Now: the Pandemic Diaries Project, which collected almost 300 audio recordings of people’s experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic to become part of the Library’s research collections. She received her PhD in history from Columbia University, and she is the author of Newspaper Confessions: A History of Advice Columns in a Pre-Internet Age (Oxford University Press, 2021).

Julia Kwon headshotJulia Kwon is an interdisciplinary artist who sews interpretative traditional Korean patchwork that comment on Asiatic femininity and the complexities of constructing identities within the context of globalism, cultural hybridity, intersectionality, and the collective struggle for social justice. Her work argues for capacious possibilities for one’s identity and sense of community. Kwon has her work in various collections, including The New York Public Library. Her work is currently on view in the exhibition This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World at the Renwick Gallery of Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Jeremiah Moss headshotJeremiah Moss is creator of the award-winning blog “Vanishing New York,” and the author of the books Vanishing New York and Feral City, the latter of which was longlisted for a Lambda Literary award in the category of transgender nonfiction. His writing on the city has appeared in The New York Times, n+1, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The New York Review of Books, and many other publications. Jeremiah is the pen name of Griffin Hansbury, a psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City.

Camilo José Vergara headshotCamilo José Vergara has documented America’s disenfranchised and marginalized urban communities for over four decades. Vergara came to the US in the 1960s from Chile to study at Notre Dame University. During his graduate studies in sociology at Columbia University, Vergara developed his interest in the relationship between environment and society. He has published numerous books, including Silent Cities: The Evolution of the American Cemetery (1989), The New American Ghetto (1995), American Ruins (1999), Twin Towers Remembered (2001), Unexpected Chicagoland (2002), Subway Memories (2004), and How the Other Half Worships (2005). His photographs have been exhibited internationally at such institutions as the National Building Museum, the Getty Research Institute and J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. In 2002 he was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant. In 2013, Vergara became the first photographer to receive the National Humanities Medal, presented to him by President Barack Obama at the White House.


  • Purchase Feral City: On Finding Liberation in Lockdown New York: The Library Shop — proceeds benefit The New York Public Library

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Patrons are strongly encouraged to wear a mask at LIVE from NYPL events.

If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or suspect you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, please stay home.


In-Person | Assistive listening devices and/or hearing loops are available at the venue. You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation or CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning service by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email or use this Gmail template. This venue is fully accessible to wheelchairs. A visual navigation guide is available here.

Livestream | Captions and a transcript will be provided. Media used over the course of the conversation will be accompanied by alt text and/or audio description. You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email or use this Gmail template.



Please submit all press inquiries to Sara Beth Joren at least 48 hours before the event: email or use this Gmail template.

For all other questions and inquiries, please email or use this Gmail template.

The New York Public Library's free services and resources are made possible thanks to the support of the Friends of the Library. Join this group of Library lovers and take advantage of special membership benefits, like invitations to members-only virtual events, discounts at the Library Shop, and more. Join now.

LIVE from NYPL is made possible by the continuing generosity of Celeste Bartos, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos, the Margaret and Herman Sokol Public Education Endowment Fund, and the support of Library patrons and friends.

The Richard B. Salomon Distinguished Lecture is made possible by an endowment established by family and friends of the late Richard B. Salomon.  

Courtesy Julie Golia
Courtesy Julia Kwon
Courtesy Jeremiah Moss
Courtesy Camilo José Vergara

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Venue Details
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Edna Barnes Salomon Room (3rd Floor) The New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 42nd Street & 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10018