Closing keynote for the NMC Regional Conference at Tulane is Not Since the Great Depression: The Post Katrina Documentary Impulse and New Media by Michael Mizell-Nelson, University of New Orleans, Hurricane Digital Memory Bank (Collecting, Preserving, and Presenting the stories and digital record of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita).

Assembling content for an online database project regarding hurricanes Katrina and Rita provides daily opportunities to assess personal and community losses throughout the Gulf Coast. It also puts one into contact with the vast array of documentation efforts flourishing along the coast, particularly New Orleans, which serves as this catastrophe’s “Ground Zero.” Each individual’s story constitutes one invaluable piece in the immense debris field stretching from Texas to Alabama. New Media drives the documentation of the tragedies and ongoing recoveries; similarly, New Media must assist in making these invaluable materials accessible to both web surfers and scholars.

Collecting what has already been created, information, memories, including works submitted by students. Even collect information submitted via distributed postcards, collected statements by anonymous call in via cellphones. Interesting statements of rights “You may submit the account anonymously and retain ownership over all materials submitted to the archive.”

The archive is a giant archive of media including documents, images, etc as a full searchable database

Example:

Making it Home Again: Our Return in Words in Pictures:

Ten students of Capdau Charter Middle School wrote and illustrated this book during an after school New Orleans Outreach class in the spring of 2006. The students wrote the book to tell their story of coming back home to New Orleans. It includes their personal coming home stories as well as poems about New Orleans, drawings of houses in the city and self-portraits. The book project originated through a partnership between Young Artist Young Aspirations (YAYA) and The Neighborhood Story Project. Abram Himelstein taught the writing portion of the class, while Jessie Perlik helped teach the students the art techniques they utilized to create their book.

Noted that few people are adding tags to database, starting to teach the tagging concept.

Not interested in “polishing”, grammar checking the original writings of contributors.

Site contains different “Collections” including 900+ Smithsonian images, Katrina’s Kids Artwork, specialized museum contributions, Coast Guard photos, video documentaries, Student stories, Katrina stories– a play by Tulane law students, Student Hurricane Network, many more.

Family collection of photographs -example, very sad and moving- http://www.hurricanearchive.org/object/1853, http://www.hurricanearchive.org/object/2166

Mary Gehman http://www.hurricanearchive.org/browse/?tags=gehman
Family group with tent sheets http://www.hurricanearchive.org/object/12540

Pre-Katrina web database Do You Know What it Means?

Do You Know What it Means is a collaborative, educational effort designed to help the public better understand what life was like in New Orleans before the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster. Our mission is to collect the untold stories of the people of New Orleans by chronicling and preserving them in an accessible and public digital archive comprised of collected photographs, videos, family histories, interviews and other artifacts. The archive will result in a virtual representation of New Orleans that will in turn help bring a divided community back together.

Katrina’s Jewish Voices more of a archivists collection

The Jewish Women’s Archive organized Katrina’s Jewish Voices in collaboration with the Center for History and New Media. Through the contributions of individuals and organizations nationwide, the project is creating a virtual archive of stories, images, and reflections about the New Orleans and Gulf Coast Jewish communities before and after Hurricane Katrina.

Student collection of experiences, wheelchair bound woman’s story of survival http://www.hurricanearchive.org/browse/?search=giarrusso includes update of her graduation with cap and gown. Importance that people can update what happens after, beyond the event.

The post "NMC: Post Katrina Documentary Impulse and New Media" was originally pulled like taffy through a needle's eye at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2007/11/post-katrina-documentary/) on November 9, 2007.

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