"Why Arizona?" is a collaborative effort among the three state universities to digitally archive migration-related materials in time for the Arizona centennial in 2012. The photos, video, text and audio recordings will be showcased at whyarizona.org. The project is funded through multiple sources, including the universities and the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records.
Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University are contributing to the project. Materials on the Grand Canyon and tourism history are some of NAU's strengths, while UA has large collections on Arizona literature, the history of science and southern Arizona tribal nations.
"So many different portions of Arizona's history were affected by the way people arrived here, the reasons people came here," said Rob Spindler, head of ASU's archives and special collections, on why the project's directors settled on the theme of migration. Spindler added that they also felt it was the best way to address the largest swath of the state's history - and, in turn, to make the collection relatable.
You can read more in an article by Amy B Wang in The Arizona Republic at http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/2009/07/26/20090726politics-whyaz0726.html.