National Disaster Photo Rescue and the Joplin Museum Complex have scheduled a public viewing and photo claim day for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at the museum complex in Schifferdecker Park.
The project, originally known as Lost Photos of Joplin, was organized in the weeks after the May 22, 2011, Joplin tornado to reunite storm victims with photos displaced by the storm.
Volunteers affiliated with the First Baptist Church in Carthage spent more than two years collecting and scanning about 35,000 photos and making them available for public viewing. They spent more than 5,500 hours sorting, drying, organizing and documenting the photos.
Photo claim days held monthly at various locations throughout Joplin after the storm returned about 17,500 photos to their owners and family members.
Last fall, the remaining photos and documents were transferred to the Joplin Museum Complex for safekeeping.
Those who would like to identify photos before the event may do so on the project’s website at www.nationaldisasterphotorescue.net, or they may go to the group’s Facebook page, Lost Photos of Joplin.
Joplin Museum Complex staff members will be assisted by National Disaster Photo Rescue staff members for the event.
The local effort has been used as a model elsewhere, including the communities of Moore, Okla., and Washington, Ill., after tornadoes hit there.
A NUMBER OF SHORT DOCUMENTARIES by film students at the University of North Texas in Denton, including one on the Lost Photos of Joplin project, debuted last spring.
THE FILM, titled “Photos in the Wind: A Joplin Tornado Story,” was directed by Abbey Hoekzema, a student at the school. It later was chosen as an official selection of the Dallas VideoFest. Information about the film is available on the Facebook page named for the movie.