Vol. 4 No. 1 (2019)
Essays

Remembering our past to keep from repeating it : Using technology to continue the role of libraries in collecting and disseminating local historical data and stories

Justin Sorensen
University of Utah
Anthony Sams
University of Utah
Catherine Soehner
University of Utah
Published December 18, 2020
Keywords
  • GIS, oral history, technology, local history, storytelling, Utah, nuclear weapons testing, Downwinders, library roles
How to Cite
Sorensen, J., Sams, A., & Soehner, C. (2020). Remembering our past to keep from repeating it : Using technology to continue the role of libraries in collecting and disseminating local historical data and stories. Journal of New Librarianship, 4(1), 156-170. https://doi.org/10.21173/newlibs/6/11

Abstract

Libraries have long participated in collecting, preserving, and providing access to materials. The advancement of technology has allowed libraries to expand collection building and preservation by providing access to anyone with an internet connection. Local histories of unique and hidden stories can now be shared with a greater audience, contributing to new national and international understandings of the forces of culture, society, and government. Such is the case with the Downwinders of Utah Archive, a collection of government documents, letters, newspaper articles, and oral histories sharing the devastating effects associated with living downwind from nuclear testing. While these individual items are available to the public, bringing together geospatial visualizations, statistical information, and storytelling creates an unforgettable and engaging learning experience.