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Our Marathon Partners With Boston City Archives To Give Permanent Home To 2013 Boston Marathon Memorial Items And Messages Of Support

For Immediate Release


March 28th, 2014


Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive


E-mail: marathon@neu.edu

Facebook: www.facebook.com/OurMarathon

Twitter: @OurMarathon


Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive is proud to announce that it has partnered with the Boston City Archives on an important digital preservation project. In the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, a makeshift memorial was constructed at Copley Square, and thousands of letters of support came to the city from across the globe. Thanks to the efforts of the Boston City Archives, a team of volunteers, and a generous donation of resources made by Iron Mountain, these messages, letters, and artifacts have been preserved and digitized, ensuring that the history of this important chapter in Boston’s history will not be forgotten. Our Marathon, a community project hosted at Northeastern University, will house these items in its permanent archive. The web address for this portion of the archive, which is accessible by the general public, is www.northeastern.edu/marathon/bca.

“Our Marathon is delighted to work with the City of Boston to preserve and make available to the public the outpouring of public response to the events of the Boston Marathon bombing,” said Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, Primary Investigator on Our Marathon (with Ryan Cordell) and a Professor of English at Northeastern University. “These artifacts—letters, images, shoes, signs, and teddy bears—testify to the collective heart of Boston and we're pleased to help share that with the world and to preserve it as a historical record."

 Marta Crilly, archivist at the Boston City Archives, stresses how important it is to the City of Boston that “the public has access to these messages of love and support.” “The items left at the Marathon Memorial reflect the love Bostonians have for their city and the compassion and solidarity show to our community from across the world.”

A curated selection of items preserved by the Boston City Archives will be on display at a gallery exhibition hosted by The Boston Public Library. “Dear Boston: Messages from The Marathon Memorial” opens to the public at 11am on Monday, April 7th, and it will run until Sunday, May 11th. “Dear Boston” was organized by a partnership that includes the Boston City Archives, Boston Art Commission, New England Museum Association, Boston Public Library, and Iron Mountain.

Our Marathon is currently in the process of adding items digitized by the Boston City Archives and Iron Mountain to its collection. A representative sampling of Copley Square Memorial items and letters of support will be publicly accessible on the site by April 15th, coinciding with the one-year anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

Our Marathon is a crowd-sourced digital archive of stories, photos, video, and social media related to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and its aftermath. No story is too small for Our Marathon. We believe that sharing stories from survivors, families, witnesses, visitors to the city, and everyone around the world touched by the event will speed the healing process. We also believe that a digital archive will preserve these stories for future generations, allowing them to see how so many of us experienced the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Our Marathon will be conducting several “Share Your Story” events at public libraries and academic institutions this spring, including the Boston Public Library (April 16-19, 12-4pm).

Our Marathon is a community project hosted by Northeastern University’s NULab for Maps, Texts, and Networks. Our partners include WBUR: Boston’s NPR News Station, Channel 5 Boston (WCVB-TV), The Boston City Archives, Iron Mountain, and The Boston Globe’s Globe Lab, as well as institutions like The Digital Public Library of America, The Countway Library of Medicine, and The Internet Archive. Stories about Our Marathon have appeared in The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Runners World, among other publications.

For additional information, please visit www.northeastern.edu/marathon or e-mail marathon@neu.edu. Please direct e-mails to Our Marathon Project Co-Directors Jim McGrath and Alicia Peaker.