The Mason Spirit: The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of George Mason University

Mason, CUNY Donate September 11 Digital Archive to Library of Congress

The Library of Congress received its first major digital acquisition of September 11, 2001, materials with the donation of the September 11 Digital Archive. The archive is the result of a collaboration between George Mason’s Center for History and New Media and the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center’s American Social History Project.

Since September 11, 2001, the Library of Congress has been amassing material through its public service divisions and overseas offices. The archive donated by George Mason and CUNY contains more than 130,000 written accounts, e-mails, audio recordings, video clips, photographs, and web sites that document the attacks on the World Trade Towers in New York City, the Pentagon, and western Pennsylvania, and their aftermath. The digital materials offer a wide spectrum of opinions and perspectives, ranging from recordings of Manhattan residents’ voice mails on the morning of September 11 to drawings by children from Los Angeles depicting the attacks.

“This digital archive, with its vast content of firsthand accounts, will add to the broad range and diversity of materials already acquired by the Library of Congress,” says Diane Kresh, director of the library’s Public Service Collections. The archive is the largest digital collection of September 11-related materials and serves as the Smithsonian Institution’s designated repository for digital objects related to the attacks.

The archives were formally accepted by the Library of Congress on September 10 of last year. To commemorate the acquisition of the archive, the Library of Congress hosted a daylong symposium called “September 11 as History: Collecting Today for Tomorrow.” The event featured commentary by leading U.S. historians, librarians, and archivists, including Roy Rosenzweig of George Mason’s History and Art History Department, Ronald Walters of the University of Maryland, and Michael Kazin of Georgetown University.

To visit the web site, go to 911digitalarchive.org.