The September 11 Digital Archive is a site which collects documents pertaining to the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center.  Some of the documents include photos, stories from witnesses, as well as videos, audio recordings, and newspaper articles on the attacks. It’s very well organized and easy to navigate without much difficulty at all. A large portion of the information on the page seems to be contributions from site visitors. It does a very good job at selecting documents which both show the traumatic effect of the people whose lives were impacted by the attacks, but does it in a way that doesn’t come off as sensationalist or messing with people’s emotions in order to rile up American patriotism or enthusiasm for the military campaigns which began as a result of the attacks. Again, it’s easy to navigate, lots of interesting and engaging information, and put together in a rather tasteful way.

The Hurricane Digital Memory Bank was put together to preserve a digital record of the destruction to the city of New Orleans, and the surrounding area, caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.  There are a lot of pictures of the aftermath, much more than I recall seeing in the news at the time, which really helps to understand the scale of the damage caused by the storms. I found this one a little trickier to navigate, mostly due to the limited number of items per page. While they did a really good job at separating out the different media (images, stories, videos, maps, etc.), constantly having to reload the page over and over again got old quickly. This got even more annoying when I wanted to go back and find a picture, but couldn’t remember which page it was on. The same goes for their Collections. Well put-together, but difficult to find specific ones if you can’t remember their page number.

The Occupy Archive, meant to document and archive the Occupy movement which began in 2011, both succeeded and failed at doing this. As far as an archive, it’s difficult to navigate, and generally not all that well put together. In order to see the pictures in the Images tab, you have to click on each link, and then scroll about halfway down the page in order to see them, and when so many of the pictures have similar titles (there is about a page and a half’s worth of pictures all with the title “OCCUPY SANDY”, and all bearing the same description and tags). If it weren’t for the browser feature which darkens the colour of a link once you click on it, I wouldn’t have been able to tell if I’d seen the picture before. However, in providing up-to-date documents as the events were happening, I feel like it would have done a good job. It seems as if they wanted to build an archive, but ran it as a blog. There are no Collections, at least not as far as I can tell, which leads me to think that the site was used more for posting documents “as it happens”, rather than organizing an efficient archive of the movement.  

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