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About the Project » FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Background
1. What is the Veterans History Project?
2. What is an oral history?
3. How did the Veterans History Project start?
4. Who retains copyright of donated collections?
5. What is the Gold Star Families Voices Act?

Participation
1. How do I start the process of submitting a collection to the Veterans History Project (VHP)?
2. How do I locate veterans to interview?
3. Who is eligible to submit their service story to the Veterans History Project (VHP)?
4. Who conducts the interview?
5. I am a veteran, and would like to submit an oral history interview to the Veterans History Project. Is there someone in my area who could interview me?
6. Can I share the story of a deceased veteran?
7. How can Scout Troops participate?
8. Can students record interviews?
9. Is there a deadline for participating in the Veterans History Project?

Collection Requirements
1. What comprises a collection for the Veterans History Project (VHP)?
2. Can I submit multiple interviews, or material for different veterans on the same device?
3. May I submit a single piece of media, such as a hard drive, with multiple interviews to the Veterans History Project (VHP)?
4. Why do you require original items only?
5. Does the Veterans History Project (VHP) accept artifacts and other three-dimensional items?
6. Can I submit digital (electronic) versions of documents and photos?
7. What if the photos were taken on a digital camera and only exist in a digital format?
8. Does the Veterans History Project (VHP) accept email collections?
9. Can I record an interview using the camera or audio apps on my smartphone or tablet?
10. Does the Veterans History Project (VHP) require transcripts?

Submitting Materials
1. How do I submit materials to the Veterans History Project (VHP)?
2. Will the Veterans History Project provide courtesy copies of my collection materials after I submit them?
3. Am I allowed to submit my interview to another repository, such as a local historical society?
4. What if I forgot to include something? Can I add to an existing collection?
5. What paperwork do you require, and why?
6. Am I required to provide my race or other demographical information?
7. What happens if my submission does not meet the minimum requirements?
8. How do I safeguard private or classified information?
9. How long will it take for my collection to appear online?

Research and Access
1. How are Veterans History Project (VHP) collections used?
2. How can I access Veterans History Project (VHP) collections?
3. How does the Veterans History Project (VHP) determine which collections will be digitized?
4. What information is made public in the Veterans History Project online database?
5. What information is provided to researchers who use non-digitized collections onsite at the Library of Congress?
6. Can Veterans History Project (VHP) collection materials be used in publications or in exhibitions outside the Library of Congress?

Existing Collections
1. What does AFC2001/001/ stand for?
2. I found an error. What should I do?
3. I can’t find my collection listed online. What happened?
4. How do I download a digitized interview?

General Information
1. Can I obtain my military service records or get information about my medals and decorations from the Veterans History Project (VHP)?
2. Does the Veterans History Project verify the stories it receives?
3. I served with one of the veterans listed in your database. How can I get in touch?
4. Can I visit the Veterans History Project (VHP)?
5. Do you have other volunteer opportunities available besides interviewing veterans?
6. Does the Veterans History Project (VHP) accept financial contributions?
7. How do I find out about Veterans History Project events and initiatives?

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Background

  1. What is the Veterans History Project?
    The Veterans History Project (VHP) of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center collects and preserves the firsthand interviews and narratives of United States military veterans from World War I through the present. In addition to audio- and video-recorded oral history interviews, VHP accepts memoirs and collections of original photographs, letters, diaries, maps and other historical documents from veterans who served in the US armed services from World War I through the present. The Project makes accessible the materials that comprise this important national archive, which contains submissions from every state, and includes the US territories. VHP relies on volunteers, both individuals and organizations, throughout the nation to contribute veterans’ stories to VHP.

    VHP also collects oral histories with Gold Star Family members, defined as a parent, spouse, sibling, or child of members of the Armed Forces who died as a result of their service during a period of war.

    See more at What We Collect and About the Project.

  2. What is an oral history?
    Many of the narratives in our collection take the form of an oral history interview. The Oral History Association external link offers this definition:

    “Oral history refers both to a method of recording and preserving oral testimony and to the product of that process. It begins with an audio or video recording of a first person account made by an interviewer with an interviewee (also referred to as narrator), both of whom have the conscious intention of creating a permanent record to contribute to an understanding of the past. A verbal document, the oral history, results from this process and is preserved and made available in different forms to other users, researchers, and the public.”

  3. How did the Veterans History Project start?
    The United States Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000. The authorizing legislation (Public Law 106-380 [PDF, 197 KB]), sponsored by U.S. Representatives Ron Kind, Amo Houghton and Steny Hoyer and U.S. Senators Max Cleland and Chuck Hagel, received unanimous support and was signed into law by President William Jefferson Clinton on October 27, 2000.

  4. Who retains copyright of donated collections?
    All Veterans History Project participants (both interviewees and interviewers) retain the copyright to their materials. As a publicly supported institution, the Library of Congress generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Permissions need to be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication.

  5. What is the Gold Star Families Voices Act?
    The 2016 Gold Star Families Voice Act (Public Law 114-246 [PDF, 197 KB]) expanded the original scope of the Veterans History Project to also include oral histories by immediate family members (parent, spouse, sibling, or child) of “members of the Armed Forces who died as a result of their service during a period of war.” Due to the sensitive nature of the Gold Star oral histories, the Veterans History Project requires a minimum age of 18 for both the interviewers and the interviewees.

    Please see our Collections Policy Statement [PDF, 227 KB] for more information.

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Participation

  1. How do I start the process of submitting a collection to the Veterans History Project (VHP)?
    Read the VHP Field Kit [PDF, 2.51 MB] and review the 15-minute-long VHP Field Kit Companion Video.
    The Companion Video is also available via the Library's YouTube channel external link

    Printed versions of the Field Kit are available in limited quantities. To order a printed version, email [email protected] or call 888-371-5848 and provide the address where you would like the kit mailed. Please allow up to two weeks for delivery.

  2. How do I locate veterans to interview?
    Many of our participants choose to interview friends or family members who have served in the military. If you do not know a veteran personally, local veterans service organizations, a local or regional Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facility, a senior center or a retirement community are good places to meet veterans who might be interested in sharing their story.

  3. Who is eligible to submit their service story to the Veterans History Project (VHP)?
    Veterans who served in the U.S. military, in any capacity, from WWI to the present, regardless of branch or rank, and are no longer serving are eligible. VHP accepts the stories of veterans as defined by the Department of Veterans Affairs: “A person who served in the active military service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.”  

    Under the Gold Star Families Voice Act, VHP also accepts oral histories by immediate family members (parent, spouse, sibling, or child) of “members of the Armed Forces who died as a result of their service during a period of war” (Public Law 114-246 [PDF, 198 KB]). Due to the sensitive nature of the Gold Star oral histories, the Veterans History Project requires a minimum age of 18 for both the interviewers and the interviewees.

    Please see our Collections Policy Statement [PDF, 227 KB] for more information.

  4. Who conducts the interview?
    Individual volunteers, and volunteers from organizations around the country, interview veterans and collect first person narratives. Any individual or organization may participate, including family members and friends of veterans, students age 15 or older, high school and university educators, authors, veterans service organizations, places of worship, retirement communities, Scout troops, local businesses and professional associations.

  5. I am a veteran, and would like to submit an oral history interview to the Veterans History Project. Is there someone in my area who could interview me?
    The Veterans History Project does not coordinate individual or community interviews. We encourage those interested to reach out to family members and friends, local schools or universities, veterans service organizations, places of worship, retirement communities, Scout troops, local businesses or professional associations to facilitate new interviews.

  6. Can I share the story of a deceased veteran?
    Yes. The Veterans History Project (VHP) accepts collections of original, firsthand materials (such as photographs, memoirs, correspondence, etc.) on behalf of deceased veterans. Please note: we do not accept oral history interviews with family members of deceased veterans, except in the case of those collected under the auspices of the Gold Star Voices Act.  We can accept the “proxy” oral history if there are additional original materials that meet our minimum requirements. The Veteran’s Release Form [PDF, 82.5 KB] may be signed by the veteran’s power of attorney, estate executor or legal heir. Any materials submitted on behalf of a deceased veteran must be accompanied by all VHP required forms and meet our minimum collecting standards. Please see What We Collect.

    VHP also accepts the stories of deceased veterans collected under the auspices of the Gold Star Voices Act (Public Law 114-246). Email [email protected] to request Gold Star guidelines.

  7. How can Scout Troops participate?
    The Veterans History Project (VHP) provides an ideal opportunity for a Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout Service Project or Girls Scouts Gold Award Project. Scouts seeking to earn their Eagle badge or Gold Award typically submit eight to 15 VHP interviews following special guidelines designed just for them.

    A VHP staff member must sign off as the Beneficiary on each Scout’s proposal prior to participation. Other youth organizations may use these guidelines for their own awards or community service programs. Email [email protected] to inquire about Scout participation.

  8. Can students record interviews?
    Students and youth groups throughout the United States have contributed significantly to the Veterans History Project. We require participation of students 10th grade and above. Due to the sensitive nature of the Gold Star oral histories, the Veterans History Project requires a minimum age of 18 for both the interviewers and the interviewees.

  9. Is there a deadline for participating in, or submitting materials to, the Veterans History Project (VHP)?
    No. The Veterans History Project is an ongoing program and continues to be supported by the United States Congress. While there is no deadline to submit materials, we encourage you to submit collections to VHP as soon as possible after you compile them. Veterans and their families are eager for their interviews to be included in the Library of Congress; therefore, the sooner items are submitted to VHP, the sooner we are able to process them into the VHP collection.

    Please note, if you participate in VHP via a volunteer organization, e.g., school, university, DAR, VFW, etc., VHP will not be able to provide you with the status of your collection until we receive your materials from that organization.

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Collection Requirements

  1. What comprises a collection for the Veterans History Project (VHP)?
    VHP accepts first person narratives in the forms of original unedited audio/video recorded interviews, photographs, letters, diaries, journals, military documents, two-dimensional artwork, maps and unpublished memoirs that meet minimum requirements and pertain to the service of U.S. military veterans. Materials collected must fall within VHP’s 30-20-10 Rule. Materials that fail to meet at least one of the following minimum requirements will be returned to the contributor.

    30-20-10 Rule:
    - 30 minutes is the minimum length required for recorded interviews; and/or
    - 20 pages is the minimum number of pages required for original memoirs, diaries or journals; and/or
    - 10 items is the minimum number of original photographs, letters, maps or pieces of artwork required and the minimum number of pages required for military documents.

    Participants only need to meet one of these criteria to begin a collection.

    For those participating under the Gold Star Families Voices Act (Public Law 114-246 [PDF, 198 KB]), 30 minutes is the minimum length required for recorded interviews, and we strongly encourage donation of letters, original photographs and other two-dimensional materials of the deceased service member.

    Please see What We Collect for more information.

  2. Can I submit multiple interviews, or material for different veterans on the same device?
    No. Please only submit one interview per device. Each recording must be submitted on separate devices, such as CDs, DVDs or USB (flash/thumb) drives.

    You may submit multiple interviews in one package, but they must be of individual veterans (we do not accept group interviews, such as panels or roundtables). Each interview must be accompanied by its own set of forms, including the Biographical Data Form, Interviewer and Veteran Release Forms.

  3. May I submit a single piece of media, such as a hard drive, with multiple interviews to the Veterans History Project (VHP)?
    No. The Veterans History Project (VHP) does not currently have the capacity to accept a single donation of multiple interviews via a single piece of media, such as an external hard drive or via “born digital” means such as a cloud-based delivery application. Due to the large volume of collections we receive weekly (75-100 individual oral histories and related paper-based donations), it is labor intensive to identify and process each collection individually. However, it is important to VHP that each veteran who participates and provides their personal narrative to the Library of Congress receive equal attention.

  4. Why do you require original items only?
    The Veterans History Project is an archival repository which aims to both collect and preserve documentation of individual U.S. military veterans for posterity, as well as serve as a research facility for those interested in primary sources concerning American military history. As such, we require that original items, and not photocopies or digital scans, be submitted to us. This ensures that a veteran’s original material, including letters, diaries, photographs, military papers and creative works, are preserved for future generations to learn from and appreciate. We recognize the sentimental value of your personal items, and keep them secured in the Library of Congress’s climate-controlled storage facilities where preservation and conservation experts oversee their care. Primary source materials are one of the Library's greatest assets. Thousands of researchers visit the Library each year to inspect original items in our collections, and digital surrogates or photocopies do not take their place.

  5. Does the Veterans History Project (VHP) accept artifacts and other three-dimensional items?
    No. VHP only accepts audio/video recordings or original manuscript material (such as letters), diaries and photographs. Please see What We Collect for more information.

    Please visit our list of Related Repositories and Oral History Projects that may be able to assist you with items that are beyond our collecting scope.

  6. Can I submit digital (electronic) versions of documents and photos?
    No, not in place of the originals. Electronic versions of originals, such as photographs or handwritten documents, may accompany the originals, but they may not be submitted instead of the originals. “Born digital” items, such as photographs taken with a digital camera or smartphone, should be submitted as digital files on a CD, DVD or USB (flash/thumb) drive.
    “Born digital” files cannot be submitted via email, and will only be accepted on CDs, DVDs or USB (flash/thumb) drives. Text documents must be submitted as plain text files (.txt or .rtf file formats). Images must be in TIFF (.tif) or JPEG (.jpg) format, and should be scanned at a minimum of 300 ppi (pixels per inch).

    Please note, submitting electronic copies will not increase the likelihood that your collection will be digitized. See the Media and Formats table [PDF, 102 KB] for accepted media formats.

  7. What if the photos were taken on a digital camera and only exist in a digital format?
    Items that are “born digital” should be submitted digitally, on a CD, DVD or USB (flash/thumb) drive. We ask that you also submit printed hard copies in addition to the digital files, but not in place of them.

  8. Does the Veterans History Project (VHP) accept email collections?
    No, the Veterans History Project (VHP) does not currently accept personal email archives as collection items. However, we do encourage potential donors to appropriately organize their email for future donation. Please see the Library of Congress’s Digital Preservation “Personal Archiving” for details on how best to maintain email archives. We do not encourage potential donors to print their emails.

  9. Can I record an interview using the camera or audio apps on my smartphone or tablet?
    Yes. Veterans History Project (VHP) media and format requirements are compatible with pre-loaded software on most mobile devices. Always choose a quiet, indoor location, and test your device before recording.

    For iOS Users (iPad, iPhone, iTouch)

    •  Use “Camera” App for video recordings
    • Set default video format to MOV
    • Use “Voice Memo” App for audio recordings
    • Set audio quality to at least 44.1 kHz (16-bit). The 96 kHz (24-bit) setting is ideal.
    • Use landscape (horizontal) orientation for video recordings
    • Import recordings through “iTunes”
    • Submit recordings to VHP on either CD/DVD or USB (thumb/flash) drive.

    For Android Users

    • Use “Camera” App for video recordings
    • Set default video format to 3GP
    • Use “Voice Recorder” App for audio recordings
    • Set audio quality to at least 44.1 kHz (16-bit). The 96 kHz (24-bit) setting is ideal.
    • Use landscape (horizontal) orientation for video recordings
    • Import recordings through USB Cable
    • Submit recordings to VHP on either CD/DVD or USB (thumb/flash) drive.

    Visit www.loc.gov/vets for the latest, detailed mobile device recording instructions.

  10. Does the Veterans History Project (VHP) require transcripts?
    No, VHP does not require transcripts with donated collections, but we do accept them if available. Please submit them as plain text files (.txt or .rtf file formats) on a CD, DVD or USB (flash/thumb) drive.

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Submitting Materials

  1. How do I submit materials to the Veterans History Project (VHP)?
    Please follow these instructions and keep in mind the following:

    • Prior to submitting your collection, make copies of all audio/video recordings and other materials and provide them to all involved individuals, i.e., veteran participant, interviewer, donor/organization and family members. We cannot provide a timeline for when collections will be made accessible on our website, so providing copies to participants ensures immediate access to the full collection.
    • If sending more than one collection, please collate each veteran’s collection and place into an envelope or folder with their name on the outside. Place your item(s) in a box, enclose a cover letter (included in Field Kit) and either ship or hand-deliver the collection to us.
    • Shipping: Use a commercial carrier* (e.g. FedEx, UPS, etc.), to deliver items to:

    Veterans History Project
    Library of Congress
    101 Independence Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC 20540-4615

    *To avoid damage caused by the Library of Congress’ special security screening process, do not use the U.S. Postal Service. Do not pay extra for expedited service. Ground delivery or the least expensive delivery option is sufficient.

    Hand-deliver: A VHP representative will be available to assist you at the above address, in Room LJ-G51 of the Jefferson Building on weekdays between 9:30am and 3:30pm (EST) if you would like to hand-deliver your collection materials. Please call 888-371-5848 or email [email protected] prior to your arrival.

  2. Will the Veterans History Project provide courtesy copies of my collection materials after I submit them?
    No. Resources do not permit the Library of Congress to make gratis copies of oral histories in the Veterans History Project collection. Please make copies of all collection materials for your own records and each involved party before sending materials to the Library of Congress.

  3. Am I allowed to submit my interview to another repository, such as a local historical society?
    Yes, if you are the copyright holder to the material (interviewer or interviewee), you may submit a duplicate copy to another repository such as a local public library or historical society. However, we do not accept duplicate copies (such as photocopies or digital scans) of paper material like photographs or letters.

  4. What if I forgot to include something? Can I add to an existing collection?
    Yes. When submitting additional materials, be sure to enclose a note instructing Veterans History Project (VHP) staff to “add to an existing collection.” Include the veteran's name, date of birth and VHP collection number. There is no need to complete the Biographical Data or Release forms when submitting items to an existing collection.

  5. What paperwork do you require, and why?
    The Library of Congress requires the following forms in order to clarify how the Library can use the collection and facilitate access for researchers. It also guarantees the veterans’ legal copyright to their materials. The Veterans History Project (VHP) will return collections to the contributor if they do not include the required VHP forms. Please see the VHP Field Kit [PDF, 2.51 MB] for additional information.
    a. Biographical Data Form [PDF, 126 KB]
    b. Veteran’s Release Form [PDF, 82 KB]
    c. Interviewer’s Release Form (if enclosing an interview) [PDF, 84 KB]
    d. Audio & Video Recording Log (if enclosing a recorded interview) [PDF, 91 KB]
    e. Photograph Log (if enclosing any photographs) [PDF, 109 KB]
    f. Manuscript Data Sheet (if enclosing a manuscript, memoir, letters, diary or other written materials) [PDF, 108 KB]

  6. Am I required to provide my race or other demographical information?
    No. Providing demographic information is optional; however, when you self-identify, you help our researchers locate collections that may be of specific interest, as well as allow the Veterans History Project to highlight the rich diversity found in our collections.

  7. What happens if my submission does not meet the minimum requirements?
    Submissions that do not meet the stated requirements will be returned to the contributor. The Library of Congress may return or transfer such material in accordance with its procedures for disposition of materials not needed for the Library’s collections. Please see What We Collect for more information.

  8. How do I safeguard private or classified information?
    When you donate a collection, please protect your privacy. DO NOT label DVDs, CDs, tapes, memoirs, photographs or other materials with personal mailing labels, military identification numbers or social security numbers. In addition, private information (e.g., social security numbers, etc.) should be removed from all collection material (e.g., military papers such as the DD-214) prior to submission. Interviewers should not ask for private information from the veteran during the interview, such as their home address, military identification number or social security number. All Veterans History Project (VHP) required forms (e.g., Biographical Data Form, Veteran’s Release Form, etc.) are kept on file and not made available to the public or researchers unless they are in redacted form.

    VHP advises all participants to avoid sharing any classified information as a part of your collection materials.

  9. How long will it take for my collection to appear online?
    Please allow Veterans History Project (VHP) staff six to eight months from the date of receipt to fully incorporate collection materials into the Library of Congress’s permanent collections. After this time, a Biographical Information and Service History record will appear on our website, showing that the collection has been processed and added to our collections. It does not mean that the collection has been digitized and available to watch or listen to online. Not every collection is digitized. Collections that include digitized content are identified by a “VIEW DIGITIZED COLLECTION” button.

    While we would like to make all the collections fully available online for researchers and families, with over 104,000 collections currently in our holdings, and hundreds more added every month, this is not something we are currently able to provide. While we understand it is more convenient to view the full collection online, all of our collections are available for viewing in the American Folklife Center's Reading Room located in the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress (room # LJ G53). With the high volume of collections we hold, and limited resources we have for digitization, we cannot accurately predict when and if collections will be digitized.

    VHP will send veterans and donors acknowledgement postcards within eight to 10 weeks of receipt. The acknowledgment of receipt verifies that your materials have reached VHP and are being reviewed for acquisition. Please see “Is there a deadline for submitting materials” for additional information.

    To inquire about the status of your submission, please visit our website, www.loc.gov/vets and search for the veteran’s name in our online database. If your submission does not appear, you may email [email protected] or call 888-371-5848.

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Research and Access

  1. How are Veterans History Project (VHP) collections used?
    Researchers and the general public use VHP collections for a wide variety of projects and purposes, including academic papers and scholarship, publications, documentaries, genealogy research and personal interest. The Library of Congress uses some collections in presentations, exhibitions, publications and events to promote the Veterans History Project.

  2. How can I access Veterans History Project (VHP) collections?
    You can search the VHP online database for the online Biographical Information and Service History record for each collection of interest. You can also search the database using different criteria, such as name of veteran; name of interviewer/donor; war; branch of service; unit of service (such as battalion, regiment, ship, etc.); and service locations.

    Each VHP collection receives an online Biographical Information and Service History record, which includes the participant’s name, affiliation and military service details. Some collections include digitized content, and are made available online. Digitized collections are identified by a “VIEW DIGITAL COLLECTION” button. At this time, approximately 40 percent of the VHP collections have been fully or partially digitized and can be viewed online. If the Biographical Information and Service History record does not include a “VIEW DIGITAL COLLECTION” button then it is not available for online viewing, and you will need to schedule an appointment to view the materials onsite at the Library of Congress.

    Please note that we are unable to serve collections on-demand to the general public or researchers. To view collections in-person, you must make an appointment with research staff at least 10 days in advance of your visit. On the day of your appointment, go to the American Folklife Center (AFC) Reading Room in the Library’s Jefferson Building to view the collections. Please visit the For Researchers section of our website to make an appointment with research staff.

  3. How does the Veterans History Project (VHP) determine which collections will be digitized?
    VHP selects collections for digitization based upon several factors, such as curatorial or preservation needs. A small number of collections are individually selected for digitization, either because we plan to use them in one of our Experiencing War web features, or because we have experienced or anticipate a high level of research interest. We also digitize for preservation purposes. Items that are fragile, stored on an obsolete format (such as microcassette or VHS) or might be damaged by frequent handling by researchers, are high priorities for digitization.

    At this time, about 40 percent of the collections in VHP have been digitized and can be viewed online. Collections that include digitized content are identified by a “VIEW DIGITAL COLLECTION” button.

  4. What information is made public in the Veterans History Project online database?
    The veteran’s name, state of birth and service history information, as they appear on the Biographical Data Form, are made available via the Veterans History Project online database. Please search the Veterans Collections for examples.

    For those collections that have been digitized, a portion or all of the collection materials (i.e., video/audio recording, manuscripts, photos, etc.) are made available to the public in our online database. Collections that include digitized content are identified by a “VIEW DIGITAL COLLECTION” button.

  5. What information is provided to researchers who use non-digitized collections onsite at the Library of Congress?
    Researchers and the general public who use a collection for research will have access to the collection materials, but not the forms that contain personally identifiable information (e.g., home address). Researchers will be allowed to copy Veterans History Project collections for personal and research purposes, as well as other uses that are permitted by copyright law, but will require permission from the veteran for broader uses such as publication or broadcast.

  6. Can Veterans History Project (VHP) collection materials be used in publications or in exhibitions outside the Library of Congress?
    Yes. Please note that all VHP participants retain the copyright to their materials; therefore, researchers must obtain permission from the veteran (or their next of kin) before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. The release form the veteran signs grants permission for all Library of Congress usage.

    If a patron needs to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, VHP staff may try to help facilitate that process.

    If you are interested in obtaining a copy of a collection for use in publication or exhibition, please contact VHP at [email protected] or 888-371-5848. Please view the For Researchers section of our website for more information about using VHP collections.

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Existing Collections

  1. What does AFC2001/001/ stand for?
    AFC2001/001 refers to the accession number of the entire Veterans History Project. VHP is part of the American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress, and was the first accession of the year 2001, when VHP was founded.

  2. I found an error. What should I do?
    If an error is found, please send an email to [email protected], providing the name of the veteran and Veterans History Project collection number, as well as details about the error.

  3. I can’t find my collection listed online. What happened?
    If a collection is not available online, it most likely means that the collection has not yet been processed and incorporated into the Veterans History Project (VHP) collections. Please allow six to eight months from the time of submission for a Biographical Information and Service History record to appear on our website. If more than six months have passed, please contact VHP at [email protected] or 888-371-5848, and provide details about who conducted the interview and when it was recorded.

    Please note that if you participate in VHP via a volunteer organization, e.g., school, university, DAR, VFW, etc., VHP will not be able to provide you with the status of your collection, or process the collection, until we receive your materials from that organization.

  4. How do I download a digitized interview?
    Generally, once you have identified the items from the digitized collection that you wish to download, right-click (or command+click on a Mac) and select, “Save As,” where the item (audio, video, or image) can be saved to your computer. Please note that each file will need to be saved individually.

    Please note that if you download items from a Veterans History Project (VHP) collection for use in publication or exhibition, copyright rules still apply, and you will need to obtain permission from the veteran (or their next of kin). Contact VHP at [email protected] or 888-371-5848.

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General Information

  1. Can I obtain my military service records or get information about my medals and decorations from the Veterans History Project (VHP)?
    No. The Veterans History Project is a voluntary oral history program and does not handle veterans’ official service records, benefits or healthcare. Please see the VHP Field Kit [PDF, 2.51 MB] for a list of helpful resources. This page on Finding Service Records may also prove helpful.

  2. Does the Veterans History Project verify the stories it receives?
    No. The Library of Congress does not verify the accuracy of the accounts described herein by participants in the Veterans History Project. Individual stories are voluntarily submitted to the Veterans History Project and are placed in the Library's permanent collections as received. These histories are the personal recollections and perspectives of participating individuals and are not intended as a substitute for an official record of the federal government or of military action.

  3. I served with one of the veterans listed in your database. How can I get in touch?
    In order to protect the privacy of veterans who participate in the Veterans History Project, we do not release phone numbers or email addresses of veterans in our collection. If you would like to contact a veteran in our collection, please contact us directly so that we can further advise.

  4. Can I visit the Veterans History Project (VHP)?
    Yes. We encourage visits to VHP’s Information Center, which is located in Room LJ G51 of the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress (101 Independence Ave, SE, Washington, DC 20540) and is open from 9:30 AM until 3:30 PM (EST), Monday through Friday. The Library of Congress is closed on all federal holidays.

    Please contact VHP prior to your visit to ensure VHP staff members are available (email [email protected] or call 888-371-5848).

    Please note that collections are not served to the general public or researchers in the VHP Information Center. To view collections, you must make an appointment with research staff at least 10 days in advance of your visit. Please visit the For Researchers section of our website for more details.

    VHP does not provide guided tours of the Library of Congress. Please see the Visitor Services page for more information on Library of Congress exhibitions and touring the Jefferson building.

  5. Do you have other volunteer opportunities available besides interviewing veterans?
    The Veterans History Project (VHP) is entirely reliant on the voluntary participation of people around the country interviewing the veterans in their lives and communities. In addition to conducting interviews, VHP volunteers can assist interviewers with audio and video recording log notes, or in the case of court reporters, transcribe VHP oral histories for continuing education credit. Students and archives regularly make use of our collections, so if you'd like to use VHP for research and share an example of your final project with us, we'd love to feature your work on our Facebook page external link or use it as a model for other students and researchers. Please email [email protected] for more information.

  6. Does the Veterans History Project (VHP) accept financial contributions?
    Yes. Contributions from donors support programs that help insure future generations hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.

    If you would like to make a gift to VHP in honor of or in memory of a veteran, link to our online donation page. You may also send your donation to the Library by mail.  Please make your check payable to the Library of Congress and note Veterans History Project on the memo line.

    Mail your check to:
    The Library of Congress
    101 Independence Avenue S.E., LM-613
    Washington, DC 20540-9130

    Thank you in advance!

  7. How do I find out about Veterans History Project events and initiatives?
    You can stay up-to-date on our events, initiatives and collaborations on our Facebook page external link, the Library’s Folklife Today blog and our RSS feed.

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  The Library of Congress >> American Folklife Center
  February 22, 2018
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