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THE NEW JERSEY HISTORICAL SOCIETY LAUNCHES ONLINE GUIDE TO SEPTEMBER 11th COLLECTION

2005-09-09

A research guide to thousands of archival and museum materials -- from compact disks of original musical performances to stickers, newspapers, and oral histories concerning people connected with 9-11, children’s artwork memorializing the event to boots worn by a rescue worker -- can now be viewed online at the website of The New Jersey Historical Society. The guide catalogues the growing collection, Changed Lives: New Jersey Remembers Sept. 11, 2001.

Immediately after the terrorist attack, The New Jersey Historical Society, in collaboration with the New Jersey Historical Commission and NJN Public Television & Radio, began the collecting project, which examines the impact of the terrorist attacks upon the lives of New Jerseyans. Thus far, the collection numbers in the thousands.

Through the efforts of the library and museum staff, access to the donated material is now available on the Historical Society’s web site. With the link, researchers can now access the finding guide to the archival material and museum collections, providing an inventory list of the collection items and background information on the attacks. Included also is information on the collection project.

Many of the oral histories conducted with first responders, political officials, and others who were impacted by Sept. 11, have been transcribed and are outlined in this guide. Access to these tapes and transcripts are available in the Historical Society’s library but also will be provided at the New Jersey State Archives through the cooperation of the New Jersey Historical Commission.

During this collecting phase of the project, the Historical Society has received thousands of archival materials from compact disks of original musical performances to stickers, newspapers, and oral histories concerning people connected with Sept. 11th, and museum artifacts, ranging from children’s artwork memorializing the event to boots worn by a rescue worker. Many generous donors have provided these materials in order to help the Historical Society in documenting how 9-11 affected New Jerseyans.

With 18 boxes of archival material, including printed e-mails, personal recollections, commemorative programs and photographs, the material took several months to inventory, catalog and preserve in acid-free folders and sleeves. In addition, each museum artifact was individually cataloged, photographed and stored. The library staff uploaded the finding guide to the collection using Encoded Archival Description (EAD) the latest standard for web display in use by Archival repositories, as part of the Library Access Collection Project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Chad Leinaweaver, Director for the Library and Museum Collections, said, “It is important to note that this is an ongoing collection, because the events of 9-11 still have an immense impact on how our governments direct policy, how our workplaces run daily operations and how our transportation systems examine security.”

He said that additional materials are being sought that will help to document how these events have changed the lives of New Jerseyans even to this day. Materials such as letters, photographs, artwork, and artifacts are the kinds of materials needed by the Historical Society for this collection as it continues to develop. People interested in being a part of this project and who wish to donate to this collection, should contact Chad Leinaweaver, Director for the Library and Museum Collections at (973) 596-8500, ext. 240 or cleinaweaver@jerseyhistory.org.

Following are examples of materials being sought for the Changed Lives Collection:

· Materials documenting heightened security at offices, schools, transportation stations, etc.
· Artwork reflecting a response to the tragedies
· Photographs of memorials, shrines, or events
· Letters or e-mail correspondence with friends, military personnel, colleagues, etc. documenting the event or how life has changed in the years since Sept. 11th
· Anti-immigration materials
· Posters or banners that target terrorists
· News articles covering stories about a post 9-11 New Jersey
· Newsletters or trade magazines covering how post 9-11 affected that particular field or industry
· Material documenting the development of any New Jersey relief agencies, mental health services, grant programs or support services for those affected by Sept. 11th directly or indirectly.

The New Jersey Historical Society is a state-wide, private, non profit historical museum, library, and archives dedicated to collecting, preserving, and interpreting the rich and intricate political, social, cultural and economic history of New Jersey to the broadest possible audiences.

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