Home > faq

faq

Who set up this website, and who maintains it?

The April 16 Archive was launched by Virginia Tech's Center for Digital Discourse and Culture (CDDC), with assistance from George Mason University's Center for History and New Media (CHNM). Numerous Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff members have assisted with developing and curating the archive. The archive is hosted by the CDDC on Virginia Tech's Blacksburg campus.

I am having trouble using this website. What do I do?

If for any reason you are unable to contribute a story, image, or other file, please email your contribution, your name, and any further information you feel is helpful to admin@april16archive.org.

I wasn’t personally affected by the tragedy at Virginia Tech. Should I still submit my story, image or other file?

Please! We want to hear from you. Your experiences need not have been at Virginia Tech. They can be short or much longer personal reflections on the tragedies, or words of support for those directly affected.

How do you determine whether a submitted item should or should not be added to the archive?

In assessing any given item that has been submitted to the archive, our primary question is whether the item is related to the Virginia Tech tragedy of April 16, 2007. 'Related' is defined to be as inclusive as possible. In some cases, materials may be added to archive, but may not be publicly viewed.

I would like to submit multiple stories, images or other files to the April 16 Archive. Do I have to upload them one by one?

If you are only submitting a few items, we ask that you upload them one by one through our online interface. If, however, you would like to submit more than 20 objects, you may contact us at admin@april16archive.org to make special arrangements for your contribution.

Are there any special guidelines for uploading images and files?

Images and other files larger than 5MB may not be uploaded through the web site interface. However, if you would like to contribute files larger than 5MB, you may e-mail us at admin@april16archive.org to make special arrangements.

Can I submit digital materials that do not fit into the categories of stories, images and other files?

No. At this time we are only accepting stories, images, and other files through our online interface. We will consider significantly large and important collections on a case by case basis. Please contact us at admin@april16archive.org if you would like to contribute such a collection to the April 16 Archive.

I recently submitted a story, image or other file to the April 16 Archive. Why doesn’t it appear on the web site? Why aren’t all the stories, images and other files in the April 16 Archive available to the public?

For an object to be available on the website, contributors must agree to have the object made public and consent to a release. If the contributor has asked for the object to be held privately or has not consented to the release, the object will not be available on the web site. Moreover, sometimes April 16 Archive staff will determine that a contributor lacks sufficient ownership rights to grant the April 16 Archive permission to include an object on the web site.

Do I have to make my contribution available to the public?

No. When you submit a story, image or other file to the April 16 Archive, we will ask you whether or not you want your submission made public. If you choose to keep it private, it will be held in the April 16 Archive, but not made available on the web site. If at any time you change your mind and want a public submission made private, or vice-versa, please contact us at admin@april16archive.org.

What are "Tags"?

Tagging is a freeform way to categorize items, which is being used on a growing number of websites. A tag can refer to a general category or description, such as "Biloxi" or "synagogue", or to a concept, like "hope" or "community," or it can be more personal, "Sanford Cohen". An item can be tagged with as many, or as few tags as seems useful to you. A tag on this site can contain more than one word. Multiple tags are separated by commas. You can see what tags other people are using, and what items they are categorizing, by browsing content by tags, or by looking at the tags listed as part of each item's description. Clicking on separate tag links will show you other items that share a given tag. If you feel that someone else's tag is inappropriate, you may contact us at admin@april16archive.org.

When I submit materials to the April 16 Archive, do I retain the copyright?

Yes. All contributors retain copyrights to any objects submitted to the April 16 Archive, because you still own the materials. Nothing may be used for any public purpose without the permission of the April 16 Archive and the original contributor, unless otherwise noted.

How do I get permission to use materials from the April 16 Archive?

Please e-mail us at admin@april16archive.org if you would like to use an object from the April 16 Archive. Objects from the April 16 Archive may not be used for any public purpose without the permission of the April 16 Archive and the original contributor, unless otherwise noted.

Can I get a larger, higher quality version of a photo or image from the April 16 Archive?

While public access to the archive is limited to fixed-size images, we do keep the original, full-size copies of all submitted images and photos. To request such originals, please e-mail admin@april16archive.org. However, note that objects from the April 16 Archive may not be used for any public purpose without the permission of the April 16 Archive and the original contributor, unless otherwise noted.

How do I know that the content of the April 16 Archive is factual?

Every submission to the April 16 Archive—even those that are erroneous, misleading, or dubious—contributes in some way to the historical record. A misleading individual account, for example, could reveal certain personal and emotional aspects of the event that would otherwise be lost in a strict authentication and appraisal process. That said, most people who take the time to submit something to the April 16 Archive share the goal of its organizers—that is, to create a reliable and permanent record of the tragedies of April 16, 2007 at Virginia Tech—and therefore most contributions are authentic. Nevertheless, as with any historical sources (including, for example, newspaper accounts), there are always questions about reliability, and all researchers need to evaluate their sources critically. It is for this reason that the April 16 Archive harvests metadata from every contributor—including name, email address, location, zip code, gender, age, occupation, date received—and suggests that these metadata be examined in relation to one another, in relation to the content of the submission, and in relation to other authenticated records. Sound research technique is the basis of sound scholarship. Researchers with particular concerns should contact admin@april16archive.org for more information.

How can I help the April 16 Archive?

First and foremost, by submitting your stories, images, and other files through the website and telling your friends about the April 16 Archive. If you think you might be able to help in other ways, please feel free to contact us at admin@april16archive.org .

Updated June 3, 2008.