Friends of CEISMIC

CEISMIC needs your help. With our aim of collecting anything and everything related to the Canterbury earthquakes, we’ve taken on a massive task.  We receive thousands of new items for the archive every month, all of which have to be prepared for uploading by adding descriptions, locations, and other metadata. And there’s still a lot more material out there, which needs to be collected before it is lost.

By becoming a Friends of CEISMIC volunteer, you can help us preserve the valuable knowledge, memories and experiences surrounding the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes.

What does volunteering for CEISMIC involve?

You'll be working with staff in the CEISMIC programme office at the University of Canterbury for a couple of hours a week, helping to prepare content for the archive.  This might, for example, involve writing descriptions of what’s going on in a series of photographs.   Or perhaps you’ll be researching and describing a community event.  Or you might be using a combination of Google Maps and your own local knowledge to pinpoint locations.  Every collection we work on needs a different approach, so there’s always something new.

We’ll provide you with all the training you need, and ongoing mentoring as you take on new tasks. In order to make the most of this training, we ask our volunteers to commit to staying with us for at least six months.

What are the benefits?

Primarily, the knowledge that you’re part of an important project; CEISMIC provides access for the community and researchers to a broad range of earthquake material, enabling everyone to learn about and from the Canterbury earthquakes.  You’ll also develop digital archiving skills, and get to see “behind the scenes” at CEISMIC, getting a sneak peek at new material often months before it is released to the public.

As Friends of CEISMIC grows, we hope to provide more substantial ways to thank our volunteers and donors.  Such as:

  • a regular newsletter, highlighting the latest additions in the CEISMIC archive;
  • invitations to talks on a range of subjects from our consortium partners and content providers;
  • preferential entry to events and exhibitions;
  • social events exclusively for Friends of CEISMIC.

Who are you looking for?

Our ideal volunteer is:

  • confident and capable using a computer;
  • able to write in clear English, with a good grasp of spelling and grammar;
  • someone who knows Christchurch and the surrounding area well enough to be able to recognise pre-earthquake landmarks and significant buildings and locate them on a map;
  • willing to learn;
  • available for at least two hours a week during office hours;
  • able to commit to volunteering for at least six months.

If this sounds like you, then we’d love to hear from you!

If you don’t quite fit all of these criteria but still want to be involved, please get in touch anyway so we can talk about other ways you may be able to help out.

To talk about volunteering, contact CEISMIC Production Coordinator Jennifer Middendorf jennifer.middendorf@canterbury.ac.nz or phone 364 2987 extension 8821.

I don’t have time to volunteer.  Can I just give you a donation?

The CEISMIC programme is largely funded by the University of Canterbury’s College of Arts, with assistance from our generous sponsors and donors.   But there’s so much more we’d like to be able to do: collect even more material from our community before it is lost; add new features to our website to let you explore the material in new and exciting ways; provide internship and work experience opportunities for students; and fund further earthquake research. 

Your donation, no matter how small, will help us achieve these aims.  And in return, you’ll become a Friend of CEISMIC, part of the team that makes this archive possible. 

Donate to CEISMIC.