ACIA develops and maintains an archive of records and documents related to particular critical incidents and related to theory and scholarship of such incidents. The archive will be primarily digital – datasets and scanned documents. However, the process of acquisition, indexing and scanning will be ongoing. The Project Administrator, along with part-time student and graduate student assistants, will maintain the archive.
The archive also serves the Christian Regenhard Center for Emergency Response Studies, which is a federally-funded initiative which will focus on emergency responses to large scale disasters, both natural and man-made. Emphasis is placed on collecting and analyzing first-person accounts from the emergency responders themselves.
The Regenhard Center supports a related program of record acquisition, indexing and scanning project with separate funding. The ACIA and Regenhard archives are fully integrated so that each project enhances the scope of the other.
The archive has developed an Analytical Model and Database Design for Critical Incident Analysis. The design provides a structure for storing information and indexing incident records. The stuctire of the database is
- multi-user so several researchers can use the database at once;
- internet-based so it can be used from many locations;
- relational so that different types of records can be maintained.
The archive database will include information on over 100,000 incidents, including the following:
- A unique identifier for the incident involved;
- the Critical Incident Definition Attributes of the incident;
- The date and time of the document;
- The location associated with the document;
- Classifications of the persons referenced in the document;
- Names of the persons referenced in the document;
- Type of document; and
- Time relationship to the incident (before, during, after…).
A preliminary concept plan is to identify classes of attributes. The first are specific to a type of document or record:
- Personal statements or interview tapes or transcripts;
- Official incident management records;
- News articles and videos; and
- Reports and studies.