Since its launch in November 2005, the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank has collected over 5000 digital objects from institutional partners, such as the Louisiana State Museum and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, and from hundreds of individual contributors.
The Hurricane Digital Memory Bank uses electronic media to collect, preserve, and present the stories and digital record of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media and the University of New Orleans, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institutions National Museum of American History and other partners, organized this project.
Generously funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank contributes to the ongoing effort by historians and archivists to preserve the record of these storms by collecting first-hand accounts, on-scene images, blog postings, and podcasts. We hope to foster some positive legacies by allowing the people affected by these storms to tell their stories in their own words, which as part of the historical record will remain accessible to a wide audience for generations to come.
This project builds on prior work by George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media, and other partners such as the Library of Congress and the Red Cross, to collect and preserve history online, especially through the ECHO project and the September 11 Digital Archive. It is part of a growing practice of using the Internet to preserve the past through “digital memory banks.”