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The University of Canterbury (UC) has just launched its world leading QuakeStudies digital archive to document the Canterbury earthquakes by collecting reports, documents, stories, photos and film.
Quakestudies is part of the UC CEISMIC Canterbury Earthquake Digital Archive project at www.ceismic.org.nz.
The launch is the culmination of a year's work by a project team from the UC College of Arts Digital Humanities department. The breadth of the content sought for the QuakeStudies archive is unprecedented, and will become a significant record of these major historical events..
QuakeStudies – see http://quakestudies.canterbury.ac.nz - seeks to document not only the quakes themselves, but the rebuild and recovery.
Project leader Paul Millar said they planned to support a broad disaster recovery research programme encompassing the entire university with potential for major international partnerships.
``QuakeStudies shows the University is committed to Christchurch and the rebuild, and that staff and students are actively involved in innovative projects that benefit not only Christchurch but New Zealand.
``We want to help people memorialise, understand, and learn from the Canterbury earthquakes. The first collections contain material from Fairfax Media, Environment Canterbury and the NZ Historic Places Trust.
``QuakeStudies will continue adding content from a variety of sources and grow for decades to come. It will include stories from people affected by the quakes interviewed at our Quakebox recording studio.’’
Associate Professor Paul Millar said the digital archive would also be available to promote and underpin research into earthquake related risk, resilience and renewal.
The CEISMIC consortium, led by the University of Canterbury, includes the National Library, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Archives New Zealand, Christchurch City Libraries, CERA, Te Papa, Canterbury Museum, NZ On Screen, the NZ Film Archive and the Ngai Tahu Research Centre.
“The CEISMIC project was inspired by the 9-11 project developed by the Centre for History and New Media at George Mason University in the US,” Associate Professor Millar said.
``Collecting this material is time critical. Right now Canterbury’s stories are being lost as people try to move on, perhaps deleting their earthquake-related emails, texts, phone messages, images and movies in the process.”