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Mapping memory online

The valley of the fallenWhen the William & Mary students returned to the United States, they immediately began work on their website so that they could capture all that they had discovered and share it with the world.

"This website is meant to be a William & Mary-based framework for studying the memory of the Spanish Civil War," said Shannon More. "It's sort of our version of recuperating the memory of the Civil War."

The web page is organized according to different "sites of memory," including: associations, commemorative sites, exhibitions, profiles and testimonies, and research centers. Each tab provides links to the related sites, the students' field notes, related research, bibliographies and a wealth of other information including a video interview with Bibiano Morcillo about his experiences in the war.

The website also includes a Google map with "pushpins" to mark exactly where and whom the group visited during the Spring Break trip. This "mapping memory" idea echoes Article 14 of the Law of Historical Memory, which says that the government will create and make public maps of the mass graves of the "disappeared" during the war and during the postwar years of political violence, said Alex Wright.

The students said that they hope their website will help other researchers.

"We put it all on this web site in the hope that people who want to further study the memory of the war can come here as a starting point and build from there," said More. "This project is really neat because people can go to Spain and go from this, go to the places we went to and then go further and then bring it back and update the site and it can keep growing endlessly."

The students unveiled the new website during final exams in April 2009, the 70th anniversary of the end of the Spanish Civil War and the beginning of Franco's dictatorship.