Donating to the CEISMIC archive

Jared Cantlon was one of the first members of the public to donate photographs to our Community Collection. Jared took approximately five hundred photographs of Christchurch after the earthquakes, depicting the damage to the CBD; to his own neighbourhood in Somerfield; and his brother's in Bexley. We sat down to ask him some questions about the collection and his experiences with UC CEISMIC.

Tell us your earthquake story. Where were you during the earthquake?

The first earthquake I was sleeping and woke to the house rumbling and shaking. I ran to my son's bedroom and grabbed him up and we sheltered under the doorway frame. It felt very surreal. I went outside and the silence was deafening. We walked around in somewhat of a dazed state and realised what was happening.  A whole lot of cars started turning up on the roads and heading into town to their business I assumed. We spent the next few weeks like everyone else I suppose. Getting fresh water, waiting for the sewerage to work, helping friends and family where we could.

The second large quake, I was driving to work in Rolleston and thought I had a flat tyre. I pulled over and saw people running out of offices and others on the roads checking their tyres. I carried on to work and 15 minutes later watched the TV about what was happening in Christchurch. I kept receiving a text over and over again from my wife, "Stuck in town and can't get out. Come quick I need you".  This text kept coming again and again. I could not leave my work due to the nature of work and found this extremely frustrating.  We spent a few days all sleeping together in the lounge on the mattress getting little sleep due to aftershocks etc. [It was] very surreal.

Why did you decide to take the photographs?

I wanted to document what was happening at the time for future reference and I have always had an interest in hobby photography. It was a way for me to walk around town and surrounds, and capture some of the moments we will more than likely forget without picture reference.

What made you decide to contribute to UC CEISMIC?

During the evening [of the Here is Christchurch exhibition] we were asked to contribute any more photos to the University. I thought it would be helpful to make my own contribution to add to the larger picture.

What was it like working with the UC CEISMIC Team?

Lucy-Jane and the team have been very professional and friendly. They have explained the process and what is required all the way. [They were] easy to deal with.

What would you say to other people who have earthquake photographs, videos or documents and are thinking of long term preservation?

That even if you feel they are not good photos or would not be wanted, submit them anyway. Every photo many have something small in it that will be helpful in future.

Jared Cantlon's photos can be viewed in the Community Collection of the UC QuakeStudies archive.


Creative Commons License 
by Jared Cantlon, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.