May 8, 2018 Veterans History Project Updates Collections Policy and Scope, Includes Gold Star Voices
Press Contact: Benny Seda-Galarza (202) 707-8732
Public Contact: Monica Mohindra (202) 707-1071
The Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project (VHP) has updated its collections policy, changing the scope of the program. With the passing of the Gold Star Families Voices Act (H.R. 4511), Congress expanded the VHP mandate to allow Gold Star family members to contribute their own audio- or video-recorded interviews to enrich their veteran’s story. The project now includes oral histories recorded by Gold Star family members.
As stipulated by law, Gold Star families are “parents, spouses, siblings or children of members of the Armed Forces who became missing in action or who died as a result of their service during a period of war.” Sensitivity to the topic at hand precludes the participation of minors under the age of 18 as either volunteer interviewers or interviewees.
Oral histories and other materials from civilians who were government contractors, worked in wartime factories or worked for military-support programs like the United Service Organizations are outside the scope of VHP’s collection policy.
VHP refers donors of out-of-scope items to related repositories available at loc.gov/vets/relatedrepositories.html. Civilian collections previously accessioned will remain in the VHP collection.
Since VHP’s inception, loved ones of deceased veterans, whether lost in wartime service or not, have played a vital role in VHP’s mission by donating collections of their veterans’ original photographs, diaries, journals and other correspondence to give future generations and researchers access to a full story of service.
In order to participate, veterans must meet the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ criteria of having served in uniform for the U.S. military and been discharged or separated from service under conditions other than dishonorable.
Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000 to collect, preserve and make accessible the firsthand remembrances of U.S. veterans from World War I through the more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of their selfless service. For more information about VHP, visit loc.gov/vets/ or call the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848. Subscribe to the VHP RSS to receive periodic updates of VHP news. Follow VHP on Facebook @vetshistoryproject.
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