One Year after Marathon Bombings, Countway Library’s Digital Archive Commemorates Emergency Medical Response

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Similarly, Podolsky said that the archive represents an opportunity not only for remembrance but also for reflection on the quality of emergency response.

According to Podolsky, Countway was chosen as the location of the archive because it represents a partnership between the Boston Medical Library and Harvard Medical School. He said this collaboration has facilitated the collection of oral histories from hospitals and medical institutions across Boston.

Even though the archive has been open to the public for over a month, “Strong Medicine” is an ongoing project. Ilacqua said that she has been reaching out to institutions and individuals in an effort to collect stories and objects that reflect the response to the bombings.

“We’re still actively looking for people to give us their stories,” she said.

According to Rich, the project coordinators are seeking to expand the archive as to include the voices of people in non-leadership positions, like nurses and law enforcement personnel.

Emily Harrison '02, another graduate student in the History of Science Department who contributed to the project, said that the process of developing the archive not only provides an opportunity for future research but also offers a chance for reflection for both the Boston community and the archivists themselves.

“I think that the act of creating the archive is also an act of remembering and community-building,” she said. “It feels like a great privilege to get to work on this project and to talk with people who are so very open sharing their stories.”

—Staff writer Francesca Annicchiarico can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @FRAnnicchiarico.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

CORRECTION: April 9, 2014

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the department in which Miriam Rich and Emily Harrison are graduate students. In fact, they are in the History of Science Department.


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