Constructing a living history of Japan’s 2011 quake (and aftermath)

The news stories taught us so much of what happened. What we didn’t get a chance to experience in full, however tragic, were the personal experiences that made the disaster that much more unforgettable. Harvard understood that the news was not only in the disaster itself, but in the personal reactions and documentations of each day. Here, through videos, Tweets, and blog updates, we have a living record of the voices the news broadcasts didn’t get a chance to cover.

“…The scope of the archive efforts includes Chinese and Korean websites, sound recordings, maps embedded with geodata, as well as the tweets, re-tweets, and Facebook posts. No one group can claim ownership of the material, Gordon said, and material should be accessible via portals in many regions.

Building supporting software and search functionality have been daunting tasks. Gordon and his partners wanted something more than a multisite portal or “just a slide show.” They wanted to allow users to add content and create a public space for analysis and debate. As Dinmore noted, “The collection has the potential to move beyond a collection of records to be a public forum.”

From the Harvard Gazette

Kudos to the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies and other partners for their hard work in making a solid, accessible, hopeful historical record of this tragic natural disaster.

See the archive here [in Japanese]

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