Quake pledges go online

Signatures pledged by more than 25,000 Cantabrians after the February 2011 earthquake have been preserved in a digital archive as a reminder of the city's early reactions to the devastation.

The University of Canterbury's earthquake archive, CEISMIC, was created to protect and preserve an important part of Canterbury's history. It included photos, videos and data from the past three years.

CEISMIC programme co-ordinator Jennifer Middendorf said the digital version of The Pledge would be available online by February 22. It had taken three months to scan the handwritten messages into CEISMIC and ensure signatures and addresses were removed.

"This was an important moment in post-quake Christchurch," Middendorf said. "People were making that commitment to Christchurch, and that's an important part of our social history."

Three years on, she said, it would be nice for Cantabrians to reflect on their initial reactions. "Now time's gone on, I think we're forgetting how we felt in those first few days."

The Pledge, recorded in many hardcopy volumes, would be returned to Mayor Lianne Dalziel when the digital recording was complete.

The Press