In 1973 Michigan Chemical Company accidentally shipped a fire retardant (polybrominated biphenyl or PBB) in place of a nutritional supplement to a livestock feed mill, which resulted in one of the largest episodes of chemical contamination in US history. Researchers estimate that eight million people were exposed to PBB, yet there is no memorial or monument commemorating the accident. Rather, community meetings and partnerships, archives and museum collections, and memoirs and film served as important means of documenting this history, raising awareness about the disaster, and validating community experiences. The evolving and collaborative nature of this work highlights the multiple and fluid forms commemoration may take, and provides a rationale for how and why large-scale contaminations should be commemorated. This presentation will discuss the role of a historian and archivist as stakeholders in the process of gathering and linking primary sources and other resources in the process towards implementing commemoration of the history and ongoing impact of PBB in Michigan. It will also discuss our ideas for future commemoration goals, including an online multimodal gateway and exhibit about PBB in Michigan to document, commemorate, and educate others.
|State||Published - Sep 5 2022|
|Event||International Council on Archives-Section on Archives of Universities and Research Institutions (ICU-SUV) - online|
Duration: Sep 5 2022 → Sep 5 2022
|Conference||International Council on Archives-Section on Archives of Universities and Research Institutions (ICU-SUV)|
|Period||09/5/22 → 09/5/22|