Making Mason History: Digital Archive Lets Fans Record Final Four Memories

Posted: March 31, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

These days, George Mason University is history in the making.

With that idea in mind, Mason’s Center for History and New Media (CHNM) is taking advantage of all the excitement to help record the memories, stories and experiences of anyone willing to share regarding the momentous run of the Patriots basketball team to the NCAA Final Four.

Capturing history in the making is one of the goals of CHNM, which has similar digital archives relating to the events of Sept. 11, 2001 (September 11 Digital Archive), and preserving the stories of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma (Hurricane Digital Memory Bank).

At the George Mason Basketball Digital Memory Bank, fans, students and even the players can become part of history by putting their memories of this historic run to the Final Four online. Fans around the world – not just Mason-affiliated – can visit and see images, stories and videos about this basketball event.

“If students traveling to the Final Four know about this, they can upload and save stories right from Indianapolis,” says Roger Mellen, a PhD candidate in American History who helped create the archive with a team of quick-moving CHNM researchers and fellow Patriots fans. “After the weekend, we should have a very active and interesting web site…with much to see.”

Megan Hess, another PhD history student who designed the site, wrote that her most memorable moment of the season was “watching the UConn game in the electronics department at Sears at the Fair Oaks Mall. About 40 customers converged in the flat screen TV area, staring at the wall of flat screen TVs as the game went into overtime. The sales people kept coming around and asking us if we needed assistance; everyone shushed them and said, ‘We’re watching the game!’”

Mellen, who is a Connecticut Huskies fan, says he’s been converted by the passion and commitment of the Patriots. “I am now traveling to the Final Four, dressed in Gold and Green,” he writes in the archive. “The hardworking team and exciting coach have won me over.”

Visit the web site for more information about uploading files and stories to the site.

Write to at