Boston Marathon Memorial debuts at Boston Public Library

On June 25 last year, the thousands of running shoes, pictures, and heart-warming messages lining Boylston Street and decorating the police barricades as a makeshift memorial for the Boston Marathon, were taken down with a promise.

“It is my hope,” wrote Former Mayor Thomas M. Menino in a June 17 letter about the memorial, “that the respectful closing of the temporary memorial will help us all look to the future.”

Each of the items taken down in the days that followed was moved to the Boston City Archives.

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But as promised, a memorial has opened in time for the one-year anniversary as a space to house the messages of loss, hope, and resilience that flooded into the city in the weeks following the bombings.

The Boston Public Library at Copley Square officially opened the exhibit, simply titled “Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial” on Monday, April 7.

Thousands of objects at the Boston City Archives were organized into the exhibit through a collaboration between the Boston Public Library, Boston Art Commission, Boston City Archives, and the New England Museum Association. The exhibit has opened a little more than a week before the one-year anniversary of last year’s bombings, and will be on display until Sunday, May 11.

Boston-area museums, libraries, and archives are marking the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings with events and memorials. Find out about other exhibits and events at