April 03, 2007
By Elisabeth Grant
It’s amazing to think that hurricanes Katrina and Rita wreaked their havoc almost two long years ago. The memories, and challenges of rebuilding, are still fresh for many people, and thanks to the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank they won’t fade quite as much over the passing of time. The Memory Bank is an online digital repository of photos, stories, and other files meant to archive memories from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Partners in this project include George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media, the University of New Orleans, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, and more.
The Memory Bank is continuously collecting photos, stories, poetry, drawings, and videos, among other files, to capture the range of experiences caused by these disasters. It even allows contributors to link their submissions to locations on a Google Map, placing the memories in a more spatial context. Groups as well as individuals have submitted memories, with collections including a number of essays from the Social Studies of Science Journal, photos from the U.S. Coast Guard, and artwork from the Katrina’s Kids Project. The web site takes a fascinating look, through many different lenses, at what people faced during these hurricanes, and capturing these memories for future generations.