The September 11 Digital Archive uses electronic media to collect, preserve, and present the history of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania and the public responses to them. Funded by a major grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and organized by the American Social History Project at the City University of New York Graduate Center and the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, the Archive is contributing to the on-going effort by historians and archivists to record and preserve the record of 9/11 by collecting and archiving first-hand accounts, emails and other electronic communications, digital photographs and artworks, and a range of other digital materials related to the attacks. The Archive is also using these events as a way of assessing how history is being recorded and preserved in the twenty-first century and as an opportunity to develop free software tools to help historians to do a better job of collecting, preserving, and writing history in the new century. To these ends the Archive has partnered with the Library of Congress, which in September 2003 accepted the Archive into its permanaent collections – an event that both ensured the Archive’s long-term preservation and marked the Library’s first major digital acquisition.
Our goal is to create a permanent record of the events of September 11, 2001. In the process, we hope to foster some positive legacies of those terrible events by allowing people to tell their stories, making those stories available to a wide audience, providing historical context for understanding those events and their consequences, and helping historians and archivists improve their practices based on the lessons we learn from this project.
The September 11 Digital Archive project formally ended in June, 2004, and although we continue to collect accounts submitted through the website, we are no longer updating the website.