[Humanist] 26.722 memory projects

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Mon Jan 28 07:17:16 CET 2013

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 722.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2013 12:57:00 -0500
        From: Molly Des Jardin <mdesjardin at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re:  26.720 memory projects?
        In-Reply-To: <20130127110444.DEC4E2CB1 at digitalhumanities.org>

Two projects that immediately come to mind are Harvard University's Digital
Archive of Japan's 2011 Disasters (JDArchive, http://jdarchive.org), and 18
Days in Egypt (http://18daysinegypt.com).

The JDArchive is a massive undertaking, seeking to provide a search
interface for a myriad of digital archives on the Japan 2011 disasters,
including archived websites on the Internet Archive, as well as multimedia
available on Japanese digital archives. It goes beyond search and display
of results, however, in that it features both testimonials about the
disasters themselves submitted by users, as well as a collections feature.
The collections feature encourages users to create their own narratives
about the disasters by collecting relevant items from the archive via
topic, annotating them with essays, and sharing their collections with
others, either through a link (for private collections) or by making them
public on the site. Currently, the site contains over 60 collections on
various subjects, from seawalls to the activities of strawberry farmers
post-disaster, and is actively soliciting users to create more narrative

18 Days in Egypt is a space for users to create their own multimedia
narratives of the Egyptian revolution using items from across the web,
including YouTube videos, photographs from Flickr, audio, tweets, and even
their own Facebook status updates. It allows users to narrate these stories
using text and arrangement of the media within their narratives, and
displays these narratives on the site.

I'm not sure if work has been written about these archives specifically,
but at least one researcher has incorporated results from the JDArchive
into her study of the use of social media regarding the disaster (including
a collection of about 800,000 tweets provided by Hypercities). A major
international symposium recently took place regarding participatory digital
archives at Harvard, centering on the JDArchive, its content partners, and
its users, as well as similar participatory archives created regarding
current events and crises. A full video recording of the conference will
soon be posted online.

Molly Des Jardin
Archive Development Manager, JDArchive
Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University

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