A community project hosted at Northeastern University

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Our Marathon Digital Archive Marks One-Year Anniversary Of Boston Marathon Bombings

For Immediate Release


April 15, 2014


Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive


E-mail: marathon@neu.edu

Facebook: www.facebook.com/OurMarathon

Twitter: @OurMarathon


Part of the mission of Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive (a community project hosted at Northeastern University) since its inception in May of 2013 has been to provide a space for community reflection on the subject of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and their aftermath. Today, on the one-year anniversary of last year's bombings, the archive has made a number of items available to the public. Our Marathon would also like to invite visitors to the site to share their stories with our permanent archive as they reflect on the last year.

Thanks to Our Marathon's partnership with the Boston City Archives, the archive now has digitized copies of items left at the temporary memorial in Copley Square last spring, as well as digitized copies of letters sent to the city from across the globe. Additionally, Our Marathon's partnership with WBUR on The WBUR Oral History Project has made it possible to make a number of interviews publicly available on the archive.

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. The web address for this portion of the archive, which is accessible by the general public, is www.northeastern.edu/marathon/bca.

Many items are now publicly available via Our Marathon. Visitors to the site can now find a representative sampling of items left at Copley Square, including images of the iconic crosses left in the memory of the bombing's victims. Our Marathon is in the process of adding many letters sent The City of Boston to its archive: a sampling of messages sent from the international community and Massachusetts is now public. Our Marathon is currently in the process of adding more items digitized by the Boston City Archives and Iron Mountain to its collection.

The WBUR Oral History Project began making parts of its collection of interviews publicly available in early April of 2014. The WBUR Oral History Projectcollects 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.

Oral historians Jayne K. Guberman, Ph.D., and Joanna Shea O'Brien conducted the interviews for this project. Clips from interviews have been airing on WBUR since the beginning of April 2014 as part of a series titled "Boston Marathon Reflections." WBUR has archived these clips on its web site. Visit northeastern.edu/marathon/wburoralhistoryproject for full interviews and audio clips. 

On April 10, 2014, the "Our Marathon" exhibit opened at Northeastern University. This exhibit, which will be up at International Village until April 30th, 2014, features photos and stories from Our Marathon's extensive archive. "Our Marathon" was designed by Scout, Northeastern's student-led design studio. The exhibit was made possible by the generous support of Northeastern's College of Social Sciences and Humanities, The NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks, and the Office of Marketing and Communications. Additional information can be found in this Northeastern News article. "Our Marathon" is free and open to the public.

A curated selection of items preserved by the Boston City Archives is now on display at a gallery exhibition hosted by The Boston Public Library. “Dear Boston: Messages from The Marathon Memorial” opened 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.


About Our Marathon

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.