Notice: The Japanese Red Cross Society materials are temporarily unavailable as we prepare for exciting, new updates to the archive.

How to Contribute

THE BASIC IDEA OF THE CONTRIBUTION FEATURE (*require user registration) 

We need your help! The Japan Disasters Digital Archive is a participatory archive. Individual users' and a group user's active contribution(s) allow it to grow and make it a more valuable and lasting repository of digital information. Using the webform and/or the Bookmarklet feature, every registered user can contribute to the archive by adding a new content, tagging or translating existing content, and creating and curating mini-exhibitions known as “My Collections”. Also users can contribute to the archive by adding tags and translations without registration. This page describes "How to contribute" to the archive in more details.



In order to contribute to the archive, you can click on "Contribute" button on the header. You must have an user account to contribute a material to the archive. If you have not signed in to your JDA account, you will be prompted to sign in. Using the contribution feature, you may contribute any disaster-related information in any language that is currently missing in the archive but wish to be added. You can navigate the language tab to enter English (use the English tab for any other language) or Japanese information. There are two steps to complete a contribution. Once you entered all necessary information in the first step, click on the orange "Next Step" button to move to the second step. Any field with * is required before completing your submission (e.g., Title, Media Type, URL, etc.). You can go back and forth between steps to review your contribution. Also the right side window shows a real-time preview of your contiribution. You can check this preview window to see how your contribution will appear in the archive. Make sure the language tab is matching between the two windows otherwise you cannot see the real-time preview of your contribution. Your contribution will become available for other users to browse in the archive once our staff screen it. Moreover, our staff may decide to preserve your contibution by submitting it to the Internet Archive. There are two ways to contribute an outside material to the archive: Webform and Bookmarklet. 



In order to contribute a digital material to the archive, you can use webform to manually submit the material. Depending on what media type you are trying to contribute, required info in the second step will be changed. For geolocation metadata, please try your best to enter an accurete address and/or type in a known placename and/or landmark. When you enter in the field, a red dot will be placed on the map below.

When contributing a website, please manually type in a URL of the website or copy & paste it to the appropriate field. 

Step 1


Step 2


If you want to contribute an image to the archive, you can contribute an image by selecting Image under Media Types in the step one. Once you proceeed to the step two, you can upload an image file from your computer by clicking "Choose File" icon. You can also enter an URL where an image(s) live. Once you fill out all the other known information, please click submit to finish your contribution process. 


If you want to contribute a testimonial, you can select "Testimonial" under Media Types in the first step, and then type your testimonial and/or others' testimonial you have collected in the Testimonial field in the second step. The description field in the first step fcan also be used to type in your contribution. You can add an image to go with your testimonial. If possible, please also enter the name of author(s).




The JDA Boolkmarklet feature enables you to contribute a digital material semi-automatically. Although the JDA Bookmarklet makes the process of contribution smoother, you still need to manually type some fields to complete submission. In order to use the JDA Bookmarklet, you can drag & drop the gray "JDA Bookmarklet" button, located on the right window of the contribution page, onto your browser's bookmarks bar. If your browswer does not display bookmarks bar, please change the setting to show bookmarks bar. For Chrome, you can go to "View" -> click on "Always Show Bookmarks Bar."

When you find a website or other media type on the web that is missing in the archive, you can click on the JDA Bookmarklet on your browser's bookmarks bar to contribute to the site. If you are not signed in to the archive, you will be prompted to sign in. You can finish your contribution process by filling all the fields in the first and second step. Once you enter all the necessary info, click the oragne "Submit " button in the bottom to finish the process. Sometimes it is diffcult to determine the date a partiuclar digital material was created. If it is impossible to tell the exact date, use your best guess. Once you have submited your contribution, you will be prompted to add to your existing collection. If you do not want to add the item to any of your existing collection, please go to another page to skip the process.  



Existing contents in the archive become easily discoverable by having rich metadata (e.g., tag, geolocation, description, date etc.). Metadata is a set of data that describes and gives information about other data. Items such as image, audio and video tend not to have any text description, which makes it very difficult for them to be searchable in the archive. Therefore, tagging existing contents is a great way to contribute to the archive. Every user of the archive can contribute to the archive by tagging items. Taginning is an easy process. You can click any item that you are interested which opens up a pop-up windown of the item. If the item has some tag(s), you would see keywords under TAGS as well as "+ADD." You can click on "+ADD" to enter any keyword you think describes the item. Once you type in more than two characters in the tag field, you can refer to other keywords used in the archive. Please use suggestions if you are not sure what keyword to add. When you finish adding a tag, please press enter to complete the process. You can delete a tag you have entered by clicking x mark that appears top right corner of the tag you've just added.  



Another way you can contribute to the archive is to add translation of the title and description to exsiting contents. Just like the way to add tag to an item, you can click on an item you are interested in translating and open a pop-up window of the item. If the item only has the title and description in Japanese, you will see in the English tag "Contribute Title +" orange button. If the item has the title and description only in English, you can switch to Japanese tag to see the same oprange button in Japanese. When you click on the orange button, you will see a pop-up window where you can type in your translation. Once you have finished entering your translation, then click submit to finish the process. Please understand that sometimes it take a while for the site to display your contribution. Every translation contributed by our users adds value to the archive by allowing speakers of other languages to understand that item. Any item can be translated into any language, so please feel free to add a translation in your native language!



Submissions to JDA

  • Every contribution to the JDA is assessed and checked for duplication by curation staff

  • With regard to website submissions, a decision is made as to whether or not the materials will be archived and crawled for preservation

Archiving Websites

  • When a decision is made to archive, the “View Archived Source” button will appear even though the item is not immediately available via that button and often means that work is in-progress. Please check again later


  • This process takes approximately 3-days, but may take longer for materials with video/audio content and when there are many submissions queued

  • Websites that have been archived are preserved within the Wayback Machine - Internet Archive, and there will be a short lag when retrieving them for view


Best Practice for Submissions

  • Websites:

    • We are unable to archive materials that exist behind a paywall or username/password and do not encourage users to submit these materials.  The majority of these links will no longer be accessible after a few months and cannot be accessed once they are taken down

  • Images:

    • Use “underbar” _ or “hyphens” - when giving a title to an image. Please avoid using spaces

    • A descriptive name will allow others to find the photograph when searching

    • Consider using a course or event name for group submissions

           Example:  JDAWorkshop2020_my_unique_name

  • Collections:

    • Annotate items 

      • This will provide context and enable others to understand why an item was chosen

      • This can be a space for providing bilingual translations 

    • Add a description to your Collection

    • Add a testimonial

      • A user can submit a testimonial (narrative, blog, poetry, or self-introduction) that can be added as an item to a Collection


Additional Tips and Tricks

  • Consider Adding a Screenshot of the Heatmap to Your Collection

    • Take a screenshot of the map image

    • Submit it as an “Image” to the JDA

    • Add to Collection!

Example 1:



Example 2: