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Hurricane Digital Memory Bank: Preserving the Stories of Katrina, Rita, and Wilma

The web has facilitated the creation of a number of historical archives dealing with relatively recent events, including such notable efforts as those designed to preserve oral histories of September 11th. Another project of note is the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, developed and maintained by George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media and the University of New Orleans. With funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the project has collected first-hand accounts of these hurricanes, along with archives of blog postings, podcasts, and on-the scene visual documentation. From the homepage, visitors can browse an interactive map of images submitted to the archive and also add their own materials to the existing archive. One part of the site that should not be missed is the section that contains the personal stories submitted by those who experienced the effects of the hurricanes. All told, there are around 140 stories, some of which are just short reminisces, and others which offer greater detail. Overall, this is a fine site that could serve as a template for those persons or organizations seeking to create like-minded online projects.
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