November 10, 2003 Library of Congress Veterans History Project Puts More Stories of Veterans Online
Personal Stories Come Alive on Internet
Contact: Anneliesa Clump (202) 707-9822; Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to request a project information kit. The kit is also available on the Veterans History Project Web site at www.loc.gov/vets or call the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848.