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May 25, 2001
Press Contact: Craig D'Ooge, Library of Congress (202) 707-9189
Public Contact: Veterans History Project (888) 371-5848

Ellen McCulloch-Lovell Appointed to Head Veterans History Project

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.

As Memorial Day approaches, the Veterans History Project is inviting all the major veterans service organizations and major history associations to be official partners. Members of Congress will receive an information package this week, with suggestions of ways they can help promote the project during Memorial commemorations.

The Veterans History Project was created by Congress late last year in legislation sponsored by Senators Max Cleland and Chuck Hagel and Representatives Ron Kind and Amo Houghton. The legislation passed unanimously, and was signed into law by President Clinton on October 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 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 Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

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.

Lovell said "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 whoserved."

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/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.

The American Folklife Center was created by Congress in 1976 and placed at the Library of Congress to "preserve and present American Folklife" through programs of research, documentation, archival presentation, reference service, live performance, exhibition, public programs, and training. The Center includes the Archive of Folk Culture, which was established in 1928, and is now one of the largest collections of ethnographic material from the United States and around the world.

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PR 01-083
ISSN 0731-3527

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