Nova Scotians’ traditions and stories will be preserved for many years to come, thanks to a unique Twitter project by the Nova Scotia Archives. This year, on Dec. 6, the archives will start using Twitter to collect important family stories about the history of the Halifax Explosion of 1917. “For decades, historians have collected Nova Scotian family traditions, songs and stories through audio recordings and dictation,” said Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leonard Preyra. “By using social media and modern techniques, the archives will help Nova Scotians look back at the Halifax Explosion and better understand how this defining moment in our history has shaped our communities and culture.” Leading up to the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion in 2017, the Nova Scotia Archives will be collecting stories about families’ and people’s experiences during and after the explosion, using the tag #hfxex1917, to preserve in the archives. The public tweets will be collected using an online cache and then will be printed and bound for researchers. The tweets will also be incorporated into planned online and on-site centenary commemoration exhibits. “As the centenary anniversary of the Halifax Explosion nears, individual and family memories of the event are fading,” said Lois Yorke, provincial archivist. “Collecting stories using Twitter will allow future generations to access these unique perspectives on how the event impacted our province and its people.” Twitter updates allow only 140 characters per message, but by sending multiple tweets with information like the time and location of the story, unique and historical snapshots can be created and preserved. “There are all sorts of people who have connections with the Halifax Explosion who could use this project to bring their stories to light, and we’d be very happy to hear from them,” said Janet Kitz, author of Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion and the Road to Recovery. The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. keeps a complete record of every public tweet for preservation, research and public display. The archives project will happen alongside live-tweeting of the Halifax Explosion from the archives’ Twitter account, @NS_Archives. Tweets will begin at 7 a.m. on Dec. 6 and continue throughout the day. For more information on this project go to http://gov.ns.ca/nsarm .