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AASLH Encourages History Organizations to Help Document Hurricane Sandy

by AASLH on

Historypin, in partnership with AASLH, Google, the Metropolitan New York Library Council, and the Society of American Archivists launches the new initiative Hurricane Sandy: Record, Remember, Rebuild.  The project is a shared online collection of local history as captured by individuals and cultural heritage institutions alike.

Every year, natural disasters wreak havoc on communities around the world, and it can take months, years, and even decades for infrastructure and homes to be rebuilt. Lives are lost and disrupted and permanent scars are recorded and remembered in family and neighborhood history for generations.

Seven months after Hurricane Sandy swept over the Caribbean and up the Eastern seaboard of the United States, communities are still rebuilding in its wake. The deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, Sandy left at least 285 people dead across seven countries, with additional material damages of over $75 billion.

It is very important for our nation’s history organizations to participate in projects like this. When a national disaster strikes our country, the power of history plays a crucial role in the cultural preservation and long term recovery of devastated communities. As keepers of our nation’s history, we hold the records and memories of state and local history.

AASLH strongly encourages history organizations and those with connections to the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy to contribute to this important project so that history is not lost forever.

Local historical societies give us a unique perspective on the patterns of natural disasters. The Newport Historical Society, for example, has shared photos of Sandy and other hurricanes reaching back to 1938, documenting the way people have come together to help one another again and again.

Nick Stanhope, CEO of We Are What We Do (the creators of Historypin), and Executive Director of Historypin, said, “These communities have shown amazing resilience since Hurricane Sandy and we’ve been working with lots of local partners to set up a way for people to remember, share and sustain that process. We already know that people will use it in many different ways, from practical recreations of pre-storm streets to support ongoing efforts to rebuild through to local stories of neighborhoods coming together during Sandy for mutual support.”

You can view the project, explore memories of Sandy and make your own contributions here.

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