UC CEISMIC provides a single place to understand, remember and research the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011; a place where other communities can learn from our experiences.

CEISMIC is an archive built to preserve the knowledge, memories and experiences surrounding the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes. The archive brings together images, video, audio, and documents from a wide range of organisations and individuals, and makes them easily searchable.

Our aim is to tell the stories of the Canterbury earthquakes - not just the shaking, but also the struggles, the chaos and the creativity that followed. We want our children to be able to look back in 50 years’ time and learn about our lives.

To do this, we have built a collaborative, open-access archive which provides federated access to a broad range of material gathered by leading New Zealand cultural and educational institutions.

Community and Commemoration

CEISMIC belongs to everyone impacted by the Christchurch earthquakes. In years to come it will be used to understand this important chapter in Canterbury’s history - to see our losses, our struggles, and our hopes for the future. CEISMIC isn't a “database”, it's a living time capsule; a record of a place and time. Future generations will use CEISMIC to learn what it was like to live in Canterbury in the early 21st century.

Resilience and Emergency Management

A safe and resilient community is one that is adequately prepared for a natural disaster, and CEISMIC can inform this preparedness. The archive is being used by communities throughout New Zealand and the world to learn from the mistakes and successes of Canterbury and develop their own emergency responses.

Research and New Knowledge

Researchers can use CEISMIC to study not only the earthquakes but also many other topics. The breadth and diversity of material in the archive means that it has the potential to be a resource for almost any subject area. For example, the UC Linguistics Department is using interviews recorded by QuakeBox to study changes in New Zealand English. Findings from research projects will also be added to CEISMIC, enriching the archive and ensuring that the wider community will be able to access and benefit from this new knowledge.