Resource: Hiroshima Archive

Following the footsteps of the Nagasaki Archive, the Hiroshima Archive has recently launched. If you’re someone with an interest in World War 2, want to learn more about the atrocities of the atomic bomb, and get first hand accounts of the atomic bomb, the Hiroshima Archive is a site not to be missed. The archive aims to promote a multifaceted and comprehensive understanding of the reality of the atomic bombing.

Background

It’s been 66 years since the atomic bombs were dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. All the remaining A-bomb survivors will have died out in the coming decades. Those who have personal experiences and a strong desire for peace and a nuclear-free world will have passed. The Hiroshima Archive was produced by mixing resources obtained over the past 66 years combined with internet technologies hoping to share personal experiences and messages of Atomic bomb survivors to future generations.

Contents

The Hiroshima Archive is a digital archive that utilizes “Google Earth” to produce a multilayered presentation of all the resources. Content for this archive was accrued from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, the Hiroshima Jogakuin Gaines Association, and the Hachioji Hibakusha (A-bomb Survivors) Association.

Users can get a panoramic view over Hiroshima to browse survivors’ accounts, photos, maps, and other materials as of 1945, together with aerial photos, 3D topographical data, and building models as of 2010.

Search and Navigation

Because the archive relies heavily on Google Earth, it may be difficult to narrow your search and find something you believe would have the strongest impact. Additionally, the innumerable resources make it difficult for the user to easily recognize whether or not they’ve already looked at a resource. If you hope to come back to an item for a research paper or a presentation, you may find it difficult to locate the video, photo, or statement again.

There is a top bar faceted search option which lets the user change the content and view of resources. Users can look at all items at once (which is overwhelming) or seperately the videos, testimonials (in English or Japanese), Tweet mapping, Photographs, Map of 1945, Fireball, Circles, Burning Down Area, Black Rain, Hiroshima 2011, Building, and Border. Users can switch to a strictly Japanese Google Earth format or to the Nagasaki Google Earth site.

General Observations

If you aren’t confident in your Japanese skills, you may actually find much of the content difficult to understand and utilize. Additionally, the videos included in the archive are in Japanese without subtitles. The majority of the testimonials are also in Japanese only.  However, the faceted search does allow the user to look at testimonials available in English.

A benefit to this resource would be to allow the user to switch from Google Earth and search for and observe content in a format other than the way it is currently presented.

Overall, the Hiroshima Archive is an impressive site which uses the most current internet technology available. I highly recommend checking out this site and experience a unique presentation of important historical resources.

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