A community project hosted at Northeastern University

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Our Marathon has thousands of items in its archive, and more content
is added each day. This page highlights several topics related to
the 2013 Boston Marathon.

The map on the right features over 2,600 items with geographic data
from all of our collections. From public submissions to the many letters sent
to the City of Boston (from the United States and abroad), the collections of
Our Marathon include items from six continents and over twenty countries.
For a larger view, click here


 No story is too small for Our Marathon.
Share your story of the 2013 Boston Marathon.



Featured Collections

Bruce Mendelsohn

WBUR Oral History Project

Countless lives were affected by the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and their aftermath. The WBUR Oral History Project collects stories from individuals whose lives were immediately and irrevocably changed by these events. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of WBUR, our team of oral historians, and the participation of these interview subjects, Our Marathon has tried to ensure that these stories are not forgotten. We believe that these stories matter, and that they demonstrate the ways historical events transform the lives of the people who lived through them.

Explore Interviews Here


Boston City Archives Collection

In the days, weeks, and months that followed the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, countless messages of support reached the city from across the globe. Many people left messages, posters, and other items at a makeshift memorial in Copley Square. Last spring, the Boston City Archives gathered these items in order to preserve the historical record of this unprecedented outpouring of support.Thanks to the tremendous efforts of its staff, as well as a generous donation of time and resources made by Iron Mountain, the Boston City Archives has digitized these items.

Explore Collection Here


Messages From The Copley Square Memorial

Many of the items left at the Copley Square Memorial are covered in signatures. Some visitors left messages of support: biblical quotes, references to “Boston Strong,"personal notes. Many wrote down the name of their neighborhood, city, or country. Some people signed their notes, while others chose to remain anonymous. These Neatline exhibits take a closer look at the range of messages written on two posters left in Copley Square.

View the "One Boston" poster here.

NEW (12/14): View the "Peace in Boston" poster here.


"Our City": Boston and the Boston Red Sox

For many Bostonians, The Boston Red Sox played an important role in the city's healing process. The team's players rallied behind the city in its time of need, and many of the memorials, messages, and images tied to these events reveal that many people see the Red Sox as an integral part of the city's identity. This Neatline exhibit highlights the team's response to these events and features many Red Sox-related items in our archive.

View the "Our City" exhibit here.



Boston Strong

The phrase "Boston Strong" was a common refrain in the wake of the marathon bombings. "Boston Strong" (or #BostonStrong on social media) means different things to different people. It was printed on t-shirts that raised money for survivors, written on items left at makeshift memorials, circulated on Twitter and Facebook, and spoken by friends and loved ones. "Boston Strong" has been a rallying cry for the city's sports fans, and it has popped up in many different contexts, but for many of us the term will forever be associated with these events. The link below directs visitors to items in the archive that have been tagged "Boston Strong."

Explore Collection Here


Bruce Mendelsohn

Copley Square Memorial

Almost immediately after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, a makeshift memorial began to take shape at the police barriers blocking off Boylston Street. Neighbors and visitors left flowers, cards, posters, stuffed animals, and, most notably, sneakers. A man named Kevin Brown became the unofficial curator of the memorial, watching over it and keeping it organized. Later, staff members from the Boston City Archives gathered and preserved memorial items that would otherwise have been lost or destroyed. This collection features items from the Boston City Archives Collection, as well as many photos taken by residents, tourists, and other visitors to the memorial.

Explore Collection Here


Teaching Resources

Our Marathon is interested in how educators are discussing the events of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and their aftermath with their students. We have designed a series of lesson plans to suggest ways that teachers might make use of our archival resources. Teachers can also see Student Exhibits from a Fall 2013 course taught at Northeastern University by Prof. Victoria Papa.

View Teaching Resources Here


For more content under the following tags:

Finish Line First Responders Firsthand Accounts Runners
Boylston Street Social Media Watertown Sports Teams
  Letters One Run  


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