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Pandemic Diary: Camilo J. Vergara's Photographs Documenting COVID-19

Camilo J. Vergara has been photographing America's major cities since the 1970s, documenting the effects of COVID-19 on urban life since 2020. This guide introduces Vergara's 5,000-plus coronavirus-related photos in the Prints & Photographs Division.


Throughout the pandemic of 2020-2022, Chilean-born and New York-based documentarian Camilo J. Vergara has produced over 5,000 photographs documenting the widespread effects of the COVID-19 virus. An ongoing project, Vergara's documentation of the pandemic illustrates the changes over time in the ways people interact, dress, and conduct daily life in some of America's largest cities. Due to initial restrictions on travel, early documentation emphasizes New York City, later branching out into nearby Camden, Paterson, and Elizabeth, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Detroit. Home to the Vergara photograph collection, the Library of Congress has compiled this research guide to introduce patrons to Vergara's photography of the visible changes in urban life and landscapes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A man wearing a mask and full suit of personal protective equipment holds a stop sign in front of a convenience store.
Camilo J. Vergara, photographer. Protective measures, H.F. Dollar and Up, 61-27 Roosevelt Ave., Queens. April 25, 2020. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
All of the photos in this guide are from the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division. Camilo J. Vergara's photographs are used by permission of the photographer. For information on permissions and credit line, see the Camilo José Vergara Rights and Restrictions information page