Chronicling 9/ 11 With Paper, Pics
10th Anniversary Exhibit At Qns. College
Photos, pamphlets and other documents collected by a Maspeth man immediately following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and beyond will be on display at an exhibit hosted by Queens College in Flushing to mark the 10th anniversary of the tragedy.
Titled “This is Personal,” the exhibit features more than 3,000 documents and photographs collected by Michael Ragsdale, a Maspeth resident and videographer who previously worked for C-SPAN.
Divided into binders based on chronology and specific events after 9/11, the collection includes fliers, posters, pamphlets, images and other documents which he gathered from hundreds of events related to 9/11 as well as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The work represents what he calls a “seven-year paper history” of New York and America and is considered to be one of the largest known archives of the Sept. 11 attacks as well as their aftermath.
Ragsdale obtained the materials from a variety of organizations which hosted vigils, debates, lectures and other events. The sources include NYC Recovers, Tribute WTC Visitor Center, the 9/11 Commission, Americans for Victory Over Terrorism and the West Point Military Academy.
“I took this collecting project on as a challenge to try and document on paper how the world, the U.S. and NewYork City were going to react to 9/11,” he said in a press release issued by Queens College. “I did it because I knew I could.”
A resident of Maspeth, Ragsdale has been collecting paper documents and autographs since he started working as a videographer in 1997. He watched the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks unfold on a video monitor.
Over 1,000 pieces collected by Ragsdale in the first 14 months after the attacks are contained within the Library of Congress’ September 11 Digital Archive, which can be found online at www.911digitalarchive.org. More than 4,000 documents collected by Ragsdale were also acquired by the National September 11 Museum for its collection.
Admission for the exhibit, which will be housed at Queens College Art Center’s Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library, is free and will be open to the public on weekdays beginning on Tuesday, Sept. 6. The public can view the exhibit on Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.; Fridays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Sunday, Sept. 11, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. The exhibit will be closed on weekends, holidays and Oct. 10.
The art center, which is part of the Selma and Max Kupferberg Center for the Arts, is located at 65-30 Kissena Blvd. in Flushing. The exhibit runs through Friday, Oct. 14.
Ragsdale will be on hand at Queens College to discuss his collection during a lecture and discussion entitled “A New York City Autograph Collector’s 9/11 Aftermath Journey” on Monday, Sept. 12, from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. He will also be speaking about his collection later that evening at 6 p.m. at Queens Library’s Flushing branch, located at 41-17 Main St., Rooms A and B.
For more information on the Queens College exhibit, call 1-718- 997-3770 or visit www.qc.cuny.edu.
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