Ellen McCulloch-Lovell has been appointed director of the Veterans History Project, a project of the American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress to collect and preserve oral histories and documentary materials from veterans of World War I, World War II and the Korean, Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars.
The Veterans History Project has invited all the major veterans service organizations and major history associations to be official partners. Members of Congress will receive an information package with suggestions of ways they can help promote the project.
The Veterans History Project was created by Congress late last year in legislation sponsored by Sens. Max Cleland (D-Ga.) and Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) and Reps. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Amo Houghton (R-N.Y.). The legislation passed unanimously and was signed into law by President Clinton on Oct. 27, 2000. (P.L. 106-380).
The project will receive video- and audio-taped and written accounts, as well as letters, diaries and photographs from war veterans and those who served in support of them. This will become the first national collection of these materials.
Ms. McCulloch-Lovell comes to the Library's American Folklife Center with 30 years of experience creating cultural and historical programs in the public sector and has served as senior staff in the U.S. Senate. Most recently, she was director of the White House Millennium Council, which ran a number of national programs and partnerships to commemorate the millennium. She also led "Save America's Treasures," a national preservation initiative that was supported by Congress and attracted millions of dollars in private contributions for hundreds of sites and artifacts, such as the Star-Spangled Banner, the Thomas Edison National Historic Site, the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde and the USS Missouri.
She was executive director of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities where she published a number of policy studies, including Creative America, the 1997 report to President Clinton on ways to strengthen cultural life in America. From 1983 to 1994 she served as Chief of Staff to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).
Ms. McCulloch-Lovell came to Washington from Vermont in 1983, where she had directed the Vermont Council on the Arts, the state arts agency. There she was responsible for its annual appropriations, private fund-raising, information services and grant-making, including grants to community arts councils, individual artists and artist residencies in schools.
"I am eager to lead the Veterans History Project because I find it so compelling. With 1,500 veterans dying every day, their stories die with them. We need to capture these memories so that future generations may learn from those who served," she said.
The Library of Congress announced the project on Veterans Day 2000. A web site was created to introduce the project, give potential partners and volunteers guidelines and tell individuals how they can participate at www.loc.gov/folklife/vets. Representatives from the major veterans organizations, military history offices, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Oral History Association were briefed and consulted in late January 2001.