Canterbury earthquake resources find a permanent home

Lessons learned from the Canterbury earthquakes will be shared widely and preserved for the future when a collection of reports and information moves to a new digital home.

Photo courtesy of Ōtākaro

The Government’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Learning and Legacy Programme – which collected over 200 online items – is being transferred to the University of Canterbury’s CEISMIC – Canterbury Earthquakes Digital Archive.

The collection includes documents from a wide range of Government and non-government organisations such as The Ministry for Women, the Red Cross, the Earthquake Commission and the Human Rights Commission, as well as academic reports on how to respond to an emergency.

There are also copies of key Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) documents.

The Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Megan Woods says she is pleased with the Legacy Programme’s new home.

“It is important that the insights and experiences contributed by organisations and groups across the recovery remain easily available to anyone with an interest in disaster recovery and the Canterbury earthquakes. CEISMIC is the logical long-term home for this valuable collection of work. Ensuring we are preserving the past is something dear to my heart as a UC-trained historian.”

UC Professor Paul Millar, Director of CEISMIC, says bringing these materials together in one place will ensure the legacy of the devastating Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 is not forgotten.

“The EQ Recovery Learning archive contains a wealth of information that could help other communities, cities and countries recover from a disaster like the one Christchurch went through.

“By hosting it as part of CEISMIC, we will ensure the material remains accessible. CEISMIC was created by UC for exactly this reason, to collect and preserve material about the earthquakes for the purposes of commemoration, teaching and research. The end goal is that our recovery experiences and insights can be accessed by anyone who might benefit from them. These valuable and hard won lessons will not be lost or overlooked.”

CEISMIC, which launched in October 2011, is a collection of earthquake stories, video, audio, documents and images relating to the Canterbury earthquakes. Users can search across New Zealand’s digital heritage collections for earthquake-related content and find places where they can contribute their own material.

The CEISMIC consortium, led by UC, includes the National Library, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Christchurch City Libraries, Te Papa, Canterbury Museum, and the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre at UC.

The project was inspired by the 9-11 project developed by the Centre for History and New Media at George Mason University. The focus is on community participation and commemoration, but the site also provides an essential resource for local and international researchers and students.