By nature, humans are social beings. And an integral part of socializing is telling stories. For centuries, we have been using speech and oral history as the primary way of telling stories. This changed with the invention of the printing press and the standardization of languages. The printing press also made communication and education more accessible. This new technology caused us to change the methods in which we told stories to be able to interact with the new technology. Such is the case now with the advent of the World Wide Web. Websites, online databases, Facebook pages, and even blog posts are just adapted methods of storytelling.

Personally, I like the idea of citizen history and the idea of everyone being able to contribute to the preservation of history via these online databases. History is simply more than just what is written in textbooks by scholars, academics, and teaching ‘authorities’. As the name implies, history involves an exchange of stories. Archives such as the 9/11 archive allows every Tom, Dick or Harry to tell their stories. I also believe that these databases are valuable not only for the contributors, but also for the readers. They provide a fairly accurate description of the events that is far more relatable to the common person than say a textbook.

I also found it interesting that the databases covered events that occurred within the past decade. When most people think of history, usually there is a time span of about 20 years before an event can be considered historic. However, I believe that his method of recording recent events is important as it can capture an event more accurately and provide more in-depth insight to an event.

Interestingly, it is these databases that have inspired my final project for this course. After reading the databases, and thinking about the importance of citizen histories, I’ve decided to create a database dedicated to the volunteers from the Vancouver 2010 Games. The games were an important event in Canadian Society, and I believe, is cause for preservation. I know that there are just hundreds, if not thousands of amazing stories that are just waiting to be told, and hopefully I can compile these stories and do their storytellers justice.

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