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Our Marathon, the Boston Bombing Digital Archive

Our Marathon is a crowdsourced digital humanities initiative that collected stories, photos, oral histories, social media activity, and other content related to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and their aftermath. The project was active from April 2013 to August 2014. Over this period, close to 10,000 items were added to Our Marathon’s collections, thanks in large part to collaborations with the Boston City Archives, WBUR, The Boston Globe’s GlobeLab, and many other partners. In the spring of 2013, Our Marathon hosted a series of “Share Your Story” events at public libraries and universities across Boston and surrounding areas, culminating in a series of events at the Boston Public Library that coincided with the one-year anniversary of the bombings and a physical exhibit of memorial items and reflections. Our Marathon won a 2013 DH Award for “Best DH project for public audiences.”

Our Marathon was originally run by NULab faculty members Elizabeth Maddock Dillon and Ryan Cordell, and in September 2013 NULab Graduate Fellows Alicia Peaker and Jim McGrath were named Project Co-Directors. Other NULab Graduate Fellows who worked in various capacities on Our Marathon include Dave DeCamp, Liz Hopwood, Liz Polcha, and Kevin Smith.

In the spring of 2018, a new version of the Our Marathon site was released, hosted on the Northeastern University Library’s Digital Repository Service and published through the Digital Scholarship Group’s CERES Exhibit Toolkit.

Suggested citation for Our Marathon:

McGrath, Jim, Alicia Peaker, Ryan Cordell, Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, et al. Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive. 2013-2015. Web. [access date].

Further Reading

Boston Libraries, Archives Commemorate Marathon Attack” (Library Journal)

Composing Digital Community Spaces: Design and Literary Practices in/of the Archive” (Girdharry)

Crowdsourcing and Community Engagement” (Peaker)

For Comfort and Prosperity, Digital Archives Gather Crowds” (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive (Wikipedia)

Our Marathon: The Role of Graduate Student and Library Labor in Making the Boston Bombing Digital Archive” (McGrath and Peaker)

Remembering the 2013 Boston Marathon with the Our Marathon Archive” (ProfHacker)

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