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Center for Digital Discourse and Culture launches April 16 Archive


BLACKSBURG, Va., May 1, 2007 – Virginia Tech's Center for Digital Discourse and Culture (CDDC) is collecting materials to launch the "April 16 Archive." This new online archive is meant to assist artists, humanists, social scientists, and other scholars who seek--today and in the future--to develop a better understanding of the violent events of April 16, 2007 at Virginia Tech. In addition, this archive is working in concert with Virginia Tech's University Libraries Archive, which is documenting and preserving displays, both to honor individual members of the university community and to provide an historical archive for future researchers.

"This archive will be available to the general public in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the United States, and the world community at large as they come to terms with what was a local, national, and global event, which will have many important ramifications for years to come," said Tim Luke, University Distinguished Professor of Political Science.

The site will work actively to deploy electronic media for the collection, interpretation, preservation, and display of stories about the tragedy of April 16, 2007 and its many after-effects in text, image, and sound formats. Developed in cooperation with George Mason University's Center for History and New Media (CHNM), the project is receiving technical, curatorial, and administrative support from Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff.

The archive will preserve a diverse record of the events surrounding April 16, 2007 by collecting many accounts compiled from first-hand observations, photographic images, sound recordings, media reports, personal writings, official statements, individual blog postings, and any other documents that can be stored as digital files.

“In addition to local reactions, we welcome responses from across the globe in any language,” said Brent Jesiek, manager of the Center for Digital Discourse and Culture. “Our goal is to leave a positive legacy for the larger community and contribute to a collective process of healing, especially as those affected by this tragedy tell their stories in their own words.”

This project is part of a larger trend, where “digital memory banks” are being used to preserve the past, thereby ensuring that the collected records can be both readily accessible and carefully preserved for many generations to come.

The April 16 Archive welcomes contributions from the Virginia Tech community, as well as from anyone who wants to share words of support or reflection following the events of April 16, 2007. The attack happened in Blacksburg, Virginia, but it was experienced via mass media around the world. Accounts of that day from any site across the globe are, therefore, very important to the April 16 Archive as it documents the full impact of this tragic event. For more information,contact admin@april16archive.org. For media inquiries, contact Brent Jesiek, Manager of the CDDC, at (540) 231-7614.

Established in 1998, Virginia Tech’s Center for Digital Discourse and Culture is one of the world's first university based digital points-of-publication for new forms of scholarly communication, academic research, and cultural analysis. Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences (CLAHS) as well as the Institute of Distance and Distributed Learning (IDDL) actively support the Center for Digital Discourse and Culture. The CDDC is also working with Virginia Tech’s newly established Institute for Society, Culture, and the Environment (ISCE) to develop new scholarly initiatives, such as the April 16 Archive, tied into the practices of rhetoric, representation and the public humanities.