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What Was Lost

The Sphere, a sculpture by Fritz Koenig, survived the collapse of the Twin Towers partially intact. The unrestored sculpture now sits in New York City’s Liberty Park near the National September 11 Memorial Museum. Photo: Michael Rieger/FEMA Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, many archivists […]

Understanding the Other

Illustration: green2/AdobeStock Islamophobia in the US existed long before the September 11 attacks. But as a traumatized country mourned and searched for someone to blame, fear and suspicion of those perceived to be Muslims or Arab Americans intensified. The FBI reported a 17-fold increase in anti-Arab and anti-Muslim crimes in 2001 over the previous year, […]

A Safe Haven in the Sea

Photo: ©cnky photography/Adobe Stock (globe); Gander (Newfoundland) Public and Resources Library (exterior) Imagine you’re on an island in the middle of the ocean, and you’ve never heard of it, and you’re trapped there.” That’s what Pam Soucy, a library assistant at Gander Public and Resource Library (GPRL), and her coworkers told themselves in the days […]

Archives of an Attack

The Internet Archive’s Understanding 9/11 video archive features footage from 20 news outlets spanning the period from the morning of September 11 to September 17, 2001. Like Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963, the events of September 11, 2001, have left a […]

Defenders of Patron Privacy

The Connecticut Four. From left: Barbara Bailey, Peter Chase, George Christian, and Janet Nocek When the FBI approached George Christian in 2005 with a national security letter (NSL) and lifetime gag order, the then–executive director of the Library Connection—a Connecticut library consortium—convened a meeting with the organization’s executive committee. The NSL would have forced them […]