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Tony Gutierrez / AP

The aftermath of national tragedies, such as the killing of five Dallas police officers one year ago today, are linked by a common act of memorialization: the creation of "spontaneous shrines." Anthropologist Sylvia Grider used this term when describing the cards, flags, wreaths and teddy bears that people bring to sites of mass shootings to the New York Times.

In the days and weeks that follow tragic events, archivists are faced with the task of preserving the mementos left at these shrines. And the best way to reach the most people is to digitize them.

  • Virginia Tech created an online condolence archive to honor the victims of the 2007 mass shooting there.
  • Tuscon's January 8th Memorial Foundation was established to digitize all of the artifacts left at the site where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords along with several constituents was shot.
  • Boston collected the items left at the marathon bombing sites and stored them in acid-free boxes. The entire collection has also been put online.
  • The shrine in Dallas was cleared out in anticipation of a summer storm. The artifacts are now being shown to the families of victims in private viewings at Dallas's central library, and archivists are working toward an online archive.

Go deeper

Senate confirms retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as defense secretary

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

The Senate voted 93-2 on Friday to confirm retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as secretary of defense. Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) were the sole "no" votes.

Why it matters: Austin is the first Black American to lead the Pentagon and President Biden's second Cabinet nominee to be confirmed.

House will transmit article of impeachment to Senate on Monday, Schumer says

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that the House will deliver the article of impeachment against former President Trump for "incitement of insurrection" on Monday.

Why it matters: The Senate is required to begin the impeachment trial at 1 p.m. the day after the article is transmitted.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Private equity bets on delayed tax reform in Biden administration

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

In normal times, private equity would be nervous about Democratic Party control of both the White House and Congress. But in pandemic-consumed 2021, the industry seems sanguine.

Driving the news: Industry executives and lobbyists paid very close attention to Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen's confirmation hearings this week, and came away convinced that tax reform isn't on the near-term agenda.