Hurricane Digital Memory Bank

Project Manager and Outreach Co-Lead, 2005-08
Funder: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

hdmbCo-authored grant proposal to build a website to collect, preserve, and present the stories and personal digital record of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and to advance the practice of building of digital memory banks. The project fostered positive legacies by allowing the people affected by these storms to tell their stories in their own words, which will remain accessible as part of the historical record in this digital collection. As Project Manager, I coordinated all aspects of the project development, web design, and outreach. As Outreach Co-Lead, I worked closely with project partners at the University of New Orleans to encourage contributions to the archive, and developed a number of key partnerships with Gulf Coast institutions. This project collected over 25,000 digital items.

To encourage others to build similar projects, and to share the research we conducted on building digital memory banks, I co-authored a white paper, with Dr. T. Mills Kelly, “Why Collecting History Online is Web 1.5,” This project has inspired other online collecting projects. Built in an early version of Omeka, this project’s public contribution form directly drove the development of Omeka’s first Contribution plugin.

The American Association of State and Local History selected the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank in 2007 for their Merit for Leadership in History Award that recognizes “excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful to Americans.”