Response Blog #2: The September 11 Digital Archive

One of the texts you will be working with this week is the The September 11 Digital Archive. You should browse through the website, which (in its own words),

“uses electronic media to collect, preserve, and present the history of September 11, 2001 and its aftermath. The Archive contains more than 150,000 digital items, a tally that includes more than 40,000 emails and other electronic communications, more than 40,000 first-hand stories, and more than 15,000 digital images. In September 2003, the Library of Congress accepted the Archive into its collections, an event that both ensured the Archive’s long-term preservation and marked the library’s first major digital acquisition.”

After browsing this crowdsourced, multimodal archive, you should blog a response/reflection to 9/11 (categorize it under “The September 11 Digital Archive”).

This Friday is the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and the day holds different (and often quite personal and emotional) meanings for each of us. Therefore, the exact nature of this blog is up to you. You should in some way respond to your experience and reading of The September 11 Digital Archive, thinking about it both as a new media text and an archive of a tragic event (this is a very challenging task, to try to look at this both objectively and subjectively).

What does it mean to aggregate all of these stories, all of this data about the event? How do these stories, together, represent an overall picture of the event’s unfolding? How do the materials in this archive differ from other types of reports on the event? etc. However, I encourage you to pair this response with a personal reflection about the 9/11 events or their aftermath and/or a discussion of an article or media about the event (if you choose this approach, please try to link to the text … there will be a lot of media discussion about 9/11 due to the upcoming anniversary of the attacks). If you’ve been to the 9/11 memorial you can blog about your experiences there as well.

This assignment is really is an open-ended post that encourages you to bring in your own experiences/reflections and to use a variety of media (whether images, audio, video, links to other sites) to describe those experiences and reflections.

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