Northeastern’s ‘Our Marathon’ to help the community work through tragedy one year later
BostInno - 04/15/2014
A year ago Tuesday, two bombs detonated at the Boston Marathon finish line, killing three and injuring more than 260. Whether you were standing along the route or remotely cheering on someone striving to complete the 26.2-mile journey, you have a story from that day — a memory you might still be trying to comprehend 12 months later. And sometimes, sharing that story is the only way to make sense of it.
In the wake of the bombings, Elizabeth Maddock Dillon and Ryan Cordell were among the Northeastern professors grappling with how best to talk to their students about the tragedy. Everyone had stories they wanted to tell, whether of where they were that day, if they had to evacuate or how they felt. Dillon approached the team at the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks with the idea for a new project, and it was approved within 30 minutes.
That project was Our Marathon, a crowd-sourced digital archive of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Alicia Peaker and Jim McGrath, two Ph.D. candidates in Northeastern’s English department, were brought on as project co-directors and have spent the last year collecting items for the archive, whether stories, images, text messages, audio recordings or emails. They have also worked on maintaining partnerships with WBUR, WCVB-TV Channel 5 and GlobeLab, among others.