This exhibition consists of original materials and oral histories drawn from the Veterans History Project collections at the Library of Congress. With an emphasis on World War I (1914–1918), World War II (1939–1945), the Korean War (1950–1953), the Vietnam War (1965–1975), and the Persian Gulf War (1991), the Veterans History Project, by act of Congress, collects and preserves the experiences of America's war veterans and those who supported them. This congressional initiative recognizes the need to honor the nation's war veterans by collecting and preserving the documented experiences of military personnel as well as civilian volunteers, support staff, and war industry workers.
With nearly 1,700 veterans passing away each day, the collection of these personal accounts of service men and women, from all ranks and all branches of service, has become an urgent endeavor. This exhibition features the collections of these men and women in the form of their first-hand accounts of war documented in correspondence, photographs, diaries, bound volumes and albums, as well as maps, flags, and military papers. The selections presented in the American Treasures gallery are representative of the compelling and unique items already part of this treasured collection.
The Veterans History Project and the Library of Congress encourage you to help preserve the stories and experiences of war veterans and civilians that you know, and to submit these important records, so they can join those in our permanent collection. For further information on researching any of the featured men and women from this exhibition, note the name of the veteran mentioned in the label description and contact the Veterans History Project at (202)707-4916. This and other Library of Congress exhibitions can be viewed online at www.loc.gov/exhibits. To explore the Veterans History Project online go to www.loc.gov/vets.
In its collecting work, the Veterans History Project (VHP) seeks to capture the human side of wartime history with a broad view of the conflict eras: Thus, military buildup, support, and post-conflict occupation times are included in addition to periods of combat. The VHP, therefore, uses the following time periods: World War I (1914–1920), World War II (1939–1946), and the Korean War (1950–1955), Vietnam War (1961–1975), and Persian Gulf War (1990–1995). Wartime eras are based on the Code of Federal Regulations (38CFR3.2).