Thousands of poignantdisplays of the AIDS Memorial Quilt over the course of eight years have begunto take their toll on many of the fabric panels themselves. So before the earliestcontributions deteriorate beyond repair, the Quilt's caretaker, the NAMESProject Foundation, has embarked on an ambitious project to archive all 31,000panels. The process entails photographing each three-by-six-foot panel—a taskestimated to take two to three years in itself—after which the picture and anymementos or information accompanying it will be stored digitally on CD-ROM.Professors at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst will then code andcatalog each image in a specially designed database. When finished, the archiveproject will allow schools and libraries worldwide access to every part of theQuilt either on-line or through multimedia AIDS education packages. Still oneof the most visible symbols of the AIDS epidemic, the Quilt will continue itsannual schedule of 1,600 public displays and will once again be assembled inits entirety in Washington, D.C., next October, when it will comprise 45,000panels and cover 32 acres.
Sew We Don't Forget
NAMES Project captures Quilt on CD-ROM—while it still can