This project was begun in 2000 soon after the publication of my cultural history of the twin towers, Divided We Stand: A Biography of the World Trade Center.
The Archive is divided into two sections. The Main Section contains material gathered before 9/11. Most the contents, both visual and written, derive from my research for Divided We Stand. Though not incorporated into the finished book, this material provides an additional source of historical and cultural information for researchers, students and the general public. It may thus be read as a supplement to Divided We Stand or, alternatively, as a parallel text in its own right.
The second section, Afterwords/Afterimages, was added soon after September 11, 2001. Afterwords contains a mix of texts, many of them contributed by people who visited the Archive in the days and weeks immediately following the WTC’s destruction. In Afterimages, you will find mass media depictions of the trade towers, including advertisements. Published during the towers’ thirty year lifespan, the meaning of these images transformed radically when the icons they referred to ceast to exist. This section also contains photographs and other visual art created in response to 9/11.