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Northeastern University creates digital archive for marathon bombings

Posted by Your Town  May 24, 2013 03:34 PM

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Researchers at Northeastern University are compiling a digital archive devoted to the Boston Marathon bombings, the university announced today in a statement.

The “Our Marathon” project is sponsored by Northeastern’s NULab for Texts, Maps, and
Networks, and will include photos, videos, and social media related to the attacks. The team will hold a series of public outreach events this summer to collect materials. The researchers are also exploring part­ner­ships with government officials, media orga­ni­za­tions, and other uni­ver­si­ties to expand the archive.

Featured items include a tweet by the Boston Police Department announcing that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been captured, and a screenshot of a Facebook message about how the city had gone into lockdown.

“This archive is really a way to help with healing process and pre­serve these mem­o­ries for the his­tor­ical record,” Ryan Cordell, an assis­tant pro­fessor of Eng­lish and Our Marathon’s project man­ager said in the statement. “We want to cap­ture as many mate­rials as we can that help tell the stories—not just the what hap­pened, but how people expe­ri­enced what happened.”

The university’s announcement comes several weeks after city workers and archivists collected keepsakes from the marathon and stored them in the city archives in West Roxbury.

“It’s been really touching to see the way the world has come out to support our city. A lot of these signs are in different languages, that’s a really beautiful thing,” archivist Marta Crilly told the Globe earlier this month. “So I’m really happy that these things are going to be preserved, and that this part of Boston’s beautiful history, this outpouring of love, is going to be documented for people to see.”

Katherine Landergan can be reached at klandergan@globe.com. For campus news updates, follow her on Twitter @klandergan.

Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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