The Triangle Fire Open ArchiveUsing the digital humanities to create a collaborative online space to tell of the Triangle Fire’s importance today
The Triangle Fire Open Archive was created by Buscada, in collaboration with the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, one of the worst workplace disasters in American history. An ongoing participatory online archive, it tells of the significance of the Triangle Fire through historical narrative and human connection, inspired by the widely varying labor, safety, art, activist and pedagogical perspectives of the Coalition. The Archive’s website invites the public to contribute objects which tell one aspect of the Triangle Fire / Asch Building story. They may be embedded in its moment of conflagration in 1911, or may refer to the event’s extraordinary influence in the everyday world as we now know it.
Gathering and honoring everyday objects to impart the richness of the Triangle Fire’s human and political legacy
Vernacular objects help make the unfathomable concrete, and make the distinct connected. As part of this project, Buscada solicits objects for the Open Archive, and photographs these objects, often with their contributors. By juxtaposing individual stories and objects on the website, we invite readings through a range of thematic lenses, by which the collection as a whole gives context to each individual contribution, imparting a rich sense of the human and political legacy of the Triangle Fire.
By collecting objects in person and online, the Open Archive straddles the boundary between the virtual and the real. Likewise, the March 2011 Pop-up Exhibition of the Open Archive at the Brooklyn Historical Society brought what is usually only seen online into the real world, and the following year, our Triangle Fire Open Museum brought these objects into critical spaces for immigrant, labor and women’s rights around New York City.
Visit the site : The Triangle Fire Open Archive
Exhibited: Brooklyn Historical Society, March 2011
Listen : Stories from the Triangle Fire Open Archive were featured on the Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC, March 25, 2011