The Story of the Stuff: Issues in Temporary Memorial Preservation

Virginia Tech & the April 16th Condolence Archive

On April 16, 2007, a lone gunman killed 32
 people and wounded 17 in two separate attacks on the Virginia Tech campus. The incident remains one of the deadliest 
mass shootings in U.S. history.

The outpouring of grief from around the world was swift and
 overwhelming. As news of the tragedy
 spread rapidly online, people began sending their condolences to Blacksburg in
 the form of teddy bears, cards, homemade objects, and any other expressions
 meant to give comfort to those affected by the shooting. The university was inundated with an
 unprecedented amount of material. 

Kennelly, University Archivist at Virginia Tech, led the initiative to catalog
 and preserve the objects received.

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