Library Launches Chattanooga Memory Project

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

During the Chattanooga Public Library’s strategic planning process, library staff and board members became aware of Singapore’s Memory Project, a national effort to capture its country’s history using a digital platform driven by the National (Public) Library of Singapore. 

Launched in 2011, the project was designed “to collect, preserve and provide access to Singapore's knowledge materials, so as to tell the Singapore Story.” Singapore has only been a sovereign nation since 1965, but the land and its residents have a long history the government wanted to conserve.  

As the executive director of the Chattanooga Public Library, Corrine Hill was immediately intrigued and wanted to build a similar platform for the Scenic City.  

“Much of our history is curated,” she said. “That certainly has its place, but it’s also important for every person in the city to feel like their own Chattanooga story is heard.” 

In partnership with Pass It Down, who received this year’s Spirit of Innovation Award from the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, the Library has built a platform to collect stories, photos, videos, oral histories and other memorabilia from local residents and organizations. The website, www.chattanoogamemory.com, will launch this holiday season and is open to everyone.  

The vision of the Chattanooga Public Library is “an inspired, connected and engaged Chattanooga” with a population committed to lifelong learning, Ms. Hill noted. “The Chattanooga Memory Project fulfills that mission in a truly meaningful way.” 

Pass It Down’s founder, Chris Cummings, understood how important it is to capture personal stories and memories while the opportunity exists. “I started Pass It Down after my mom, Barbara, was diagnosed with early onset dementia at the age of 48,” he said. “I saw firsthand what it was like to see a family member’s memories slip away and the impact it had on my mom and our family.”  

Mr. Cummings has encountered similar situations as he’s spoken with business leaders across Chattanooga. “There are so many important pieces of our city’s history that no longer exist,” he explained. “Everything from the famous Walter Cronkite news report about the city’s pollution levels to Luther Masingill's radio broadcasts — they’re all gone.”  

“You assume that somebody, somewhere is archiving all of these things, but they aren’t,” he said. 

That very sentiment is what motivated Ms. Hill to push for the Chattanooga Memory Project. “Capturing history is the perfect role for a community library,” she said. “And not just ancient history. What happens on Friday night is history by Saturday morning.” 

The Chattanooga Memory Project will also contribute to citizens’ 21st century skills, especially their ability to create media products and to apply technology effectively. “Learning about other Chattanoogans’ personal histories will help community members develop social and cross-cultural skills, too,” Ms. Hill said. “It gives people the opportunity to experience their city through perspectives they may not have otherwise encountered.” 

In addition to individuals, the Chattanooga Memory Project will also collect moments and memories from Chattanooga organizations, associations, companies and groups, establishing their place in the city’s history. 

For more information, visit the site at www.chattanoogamemory.com.




DAR Judge David Campbell Chapter Has Member Grave Marking Ceremony

The Judge David Campbell held a Member Grave Marking Ceremony at Forest Hills Cemetery.  A granite marker was installed on the family plot of the A. M. Johnson family.  It recognized the four members of the Johnson family who were organizing members of the chapter in 1915; none of them had the DAR insignia on their gravestones.  Recognized were Helen Johnson Flower, ... (click for more)

Red Kettle Campaign Kicked Off Thursday Night

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Drive for 2017 started Friday after a Thursday night kickoff at Bradley Square Mall. State Representative Dan Howell and Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland led the festivities that included the Prospect Elementary School Choir - Ovation and the Tennessee Christian Preparatory School Choir. Sgt. Ruthie Forgey of the Salvation Army said all Red Kettle ... (click for more)

3 People Shot Early Saturday Morning; 1 Is Killed; 2 Victims Are Known Gang Members

Ladarius Cross, 28, Terrance Careathers, 26, and a juvenile were shot early Saturday morning. Cross was killed.   Chattanooga Police responded to a motor vehicle crash at 5:16 a.m. in the 1400 block of Roanoke Avenue.   Upon arrival, Chattanooga Police Officers located the single vehicle crash with two people suffering for apparent gunshot wounds. The driver, ... (click for more)

CSAS Teacher Who Was Once Reported Missing Facing DUI Charge

A teacher at Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences, who recently was reported missing and then was spotted, has now been arrested. John Albert Eaton, 44, was arrested Sunday in Red Bank on a DUI charge. He gave his address as 9580 Sweet Gum Lane, Soddy Daisy. Eaton's wife had reported him missing after she said he told her he was going to the school on a Sunday afternoon ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Should Be Problem Solvers Around The City

Re: Roy Exum’s “Stay, Signal Mountain, Stay”  Well this article is something to think about. I think the split could go either way, and Signal Mountain schools would still flourish, as they have done for the past several years. What I'm worried about is why Signal Mountain has not yet had the guts to go be problem solvers at Howard, or Tyner, or Central. Why do ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: America’s ‘Shush’ Fund

Michael Reagan, the son of one of our nation’s greatest presidents, wrote a wonderful op-ed piece on Sunday that explained why he believes the women who have stepped forward to allege they were once abused by Judge Roy Moore. He wrote that when he, a political consultant, is asked why the women waited 40 years to bring up the charges, “I tell them I didn’t reveal my sexual abuse ... (click for more)