Thousands of January 8th memorial items are being preserved elec - Tucson News Now

Thousands of January 8th memorial items are being preserved electronically

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The pictures, writings, and numerous other items made for the victims of the January 8th shooting and left in public have been boxed up for years.  Now they're coming back out, and being preserved electronically.

"There's a lot of creativity involved in this because there's everything from get well cards and letters that people have written and scrapbooks that they've made.  When you get thirty different cards from Mr. Anderson's second grade class, it does something to you," said Dot Kret, CEO of Archive Advantage and DK Advocates.

Scans of the items or pictures of them will make a searchable database.  Otherwise, their sheer number and bulk would make seeing all of them difficult.  Congressman Ron Barber, who was an aide to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and was shot that day, remembered coming out of the hospital three years ago to a lawn full of signs, flowers, candles, and other items.

"It's important to me, and I think the other survivors to have that captured in whatever we do in the memorial.  And that's why I think the archives is so important.  They represent the goodwill of this community," Barber said Friday.

And scanning the numerous documents helps DK Advocates train people like Mickey Mickson who need the practice, and the opportunity to work through barriers such as bipolar disorder.

"It felt great to be here because it's given me an opportunity to have some income, to learn some new skills, get my confidence back and I really enjoy it," Mickson said.

"This a project that also involves heart.  So that's why people are so interested in it.  Because they enjoy doing it, because they know it's important, and it means something in their heart," Kret said.

Check what they have already visible online at http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/cdm/landingpage/collection/eight

The construction of the memorial can be followed at http://january8memorial.org.

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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