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“Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial” Exhibition to Open at Boston Public Library on April 7

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Mayor Martin J. Walsh and organizing partners to open month-long exhibitionseal

CITY OF BOSTON. Office of the Mayor, Martin J. Walsh

For Immediate Release: Monday, March 31, 2014

For More Information: See list of media contacts at end of release.

In the days and weeks following the 2013 Boston Marathon, a makeshift memorial grew in downtown Boston’s Copley Square. Comprised of thousands of items like flowers, posters, notes, t-shirts, and running shoes, the memorial offered messages of love, support, and hope to the victims and their families as well as the broader city of Boston. Beginning April 7, select pieces from that memorial will be on display at the Boston Public Library in an exhibition called “Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial,” which aims to provide visitors with a place for reflection. The exhibition will open with a special ceremony led by Mayor Walsh at 10 a.m. in the Library’s McKim Exhibition Hall, located in the Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street. Dear Boston is open to the public beginning at 11 a.m. on April 7.

Dear Boston represents our strength and solidarity not only as a city, but also as a community that supports one another through even the most difficult of times,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “I encourage people – residents and visitors alike – to visit the exhibition, experience the resilience of the people of Boston, and view the messages of hope and healing.”

Open from April 7 through May 11, the exhibition invites visitors to experience the profound emotions and solidarity evoked by the original memorial. Divided into three major sections, it transitions visitors from reflection to action and from memories of the tragedy to messages of hope and courage for the future as they move through the exhibition and out into their community. The exhibition, curated by Rainey Tisdale, is organized by a partnership that includes the Boston City Archives, Boston Art Commission, New England Museum Association, Boston Public Library, and Iron Mountain. For more information, visit

“Boston Public Library is proud to host this exhibition,” said Amy E. Ryan, President of the Boston Public Library. “Libraries are places for community gathering and lifelong learning, in good times and in challenging times. We invite Bostonians and Bostonians at heart to visit our Copley Square location during this important time of remembrance.”

In June of 2013, thousands of items from the memorial were transferred to the Boston City Archives for safekeeping after the memorial was dismantled. Now, after months of preservation and organization, selected iconic items will be displayed in the exhibition, including personal notes of condolence; signs and posters from towns all over Massachusetts and the world with messages of support and encouragement; items left by spectators, runners, and Marathon volunteers; declarations of hope and compassion; and 150 pairs of running shoes. Following the exhibition, all of the items will be preserved by Iron Mountain and available to the City for as long as needed.

“As a company with its global headquarters in Boston, the events of April 15, 2013 resonated with us deeply,” said William Meaney, president and CEO of Iron Mountain. “We are honored to be an organizing partner by providing our resources and expertise to the city of Boston’s Marathon Memorial, affording us an opportunity grounded in the principles Iron Mountain was founded upon over 60 years ago: protecting, preserving and creating access to some of the world’s most treasured ideas, information and memories. Rest assured these precious items are safe with us.”

The Dear Boston exhibition is one part of a larger community arts effort called #BostonBetter, where area museums, libraries, and archives will host various programs associated with the one-year anniversary of the 2013 marathon. For more information on this project, visit

“Like the original memorial in Copley Square, exhibitions like ‘Dear Boston’ can help us find meaning from tragedy and bring us closer together,” said New England Museum Association Executive Director Dan Yaeger. “We hope that #BostonBetter can provide that, helping to inspire people to act for the betterment of their communities moving forward. We’re happy to help bring together the museums and museum professionals who made the exhibition and supporting events possible.”

About the New England Museum Association

For 96 years, the New England Museum Association has been the region’s only organization serving museums of all sizes and the professionals who work for and with them. NEMA’s mission is to strengthen museums in the region through research, professional development, thought leadership, advocacy, and initiatives that build the social capital of museums within their communities. For more information, visit

About Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM) is a leading provider of storage and information management services. The company’s real estate network of over 64 million square feet across more than 1,000 facilities in 36 countries allows it to serve customers with speed and accuracy. And its solutions for records management, data management, document management, and secure shredding help organizations to lower storage costs, comply with regulations, recover from disaster, and better use their information for business advantage. Founded in 1951, Iron Mountain stores and protects billions of information assets, including business documents, backup tapes, electronic files and medical data. Visit for more information.

About Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-four branches, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit

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Lead Media Contact:
Jon Tapper
Melwood Global
617-676-4074 office
617-272-6610 mobile

Additional contacts:
For Iron Mountain
Christian T. Potts

For Boston Public Library
BPL Communications Office

Dan Yaeger