Marathon Mementos Remind of Boston's Dark Day

NBC News

Archivists in Boston used to handling documents ranging from budget records to minutes of city council meetings have spent the last year processing thousands of sneakers, T-shirts and letters — mementos left behind at the impromptu memorial built at the site of the 2013 bombing attack on the Boston Marathon.

“This has been a unique experience for us. We’ve never done anything like this before,” city archivist John McColgan said during a recent tour of the low-slung building where staff are sorting through the outpouring of remembrances.

The makeshift shrine began in the days after the April 15 attack, as visitors and residents left stuffed animals, flags and other tributes along the metal barricades erected by the police to fence off the site as they searched for clues about the bombers.