November 6, 2003
Contacts: Anneliesa Clump (202) 707-9822, [email protected],
Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940, [email protected][email protected]
Web site: http://www.loc.gov/vets/
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS VETERANS HISTORY PROJECT
PUTS MORE STORIES OF VETERANS ONLINE
Personal Stories Come Alive on Internet
This Veterans Day, Nov. 11, a new collection of 23 fully digitized
collections of materials submitted by veterans and civilians
will be available for the first time on the Library of Congress
Web site at http://www.loc.gov/vets/. This is the second set of individual
stories—comprising interviews, letters, photographs and
written memoirs—to be featured on the site, which is titled “Experiencing
War: Stories From the Veterans History Project.” In May,
21 stories of Courage, Patriotism and Community debuted, and
they will remain available to Web users.
This second presentation of personal narratives focuses on Special Bonds, with
moving tales of Buddies, Sweethearts and Family Ties. The digitized materials
are part of the continuing effort by the Library to make its collections accessible
online. The Veterans History Project plans to make other stories available from
the 10,000 submissions the project has received to date.
Veterans from World War I, World War II, and the Korean, Vietnam and Persian
Gulf wars, and the civilians who supported them, are coming forward to record
their personal stories and contribute personal documents for a growing archives
at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The goal is to collect,
preserve and share with future generations the stories of all American war veterans.
“We encourage everyone to honor veterans by taking time this Veterans Day
to learn from some of the powerful stories in our collection,” said Ellen
McCulloch-Lovell, director of the Veterans History Project.
Authorized by legislation passed in 2000, the project is being carried out in
the way that Congress envisioned: with grandchildren interviewing grandparents,
veterans interviewing each other, and students conducting interviews as part
of classroom assignments. This unique program is the only nationwide oral history
and documentation effort that relies on volunteers rather than professional oral
historians to collect stories and artifacts. AARP is the founding sponsor of
the project, with more than 800 other organizations also participating.
The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress was created in 1976 to
document, preserve and present all aspects of traditional culture and life in
America. With more than 2 million items, it maintains the largest repository
of traditional cultural documentation in the United States. The National Veterans
History Collection preserved at the American Folklife Center will richly complement
the Library’s existing holdings on this subject of enduring importance.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to making
life better for older Americans. It provides information and resources; engages
in legislative, regulatory and legal advocacy; assists members in serving their
communities; and offers a wide range of benefits, special products and services
for its members.
Those who are interested in becoming involved in the Veterans History Project
are encouraged to e-mail the office at [email protected] to
request a project information kit. The kit is also available on the Veterans
History Project Web site at http://www.loc.gov/vets/or call the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848.
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