Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center

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The United States Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000. The authorizing legislation (Public Law 106-380), sponsored by Representatives Ron Kind, Amo Houghton, and Steny Hoyer in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senators Max Cleland and Chuck Hagel in the U.S. Senate, received unanimous support and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 27, 2000. The mandate is to collect and preserve the firsthand remembrances of U.S. wartime veterans so that future generations may hear directly from those who served and better understand the realities of war. Working with members of Congress, the program relies on a national network of veteran service organizations, universities, secondary schools, community groups and the general public to record interviews according to program guidelines and send them (along with original letters, diaries, photos, memoirs and historic documents) to the Library of Congress. The project, which serves as a resource for scholars, historians, students and the general public, holds more than 65,000 collections and is considered the largest oral history program of its kind in the nation.[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]


  • 2000-2006: Ellen McCulloch Lovell [1]
  • 2006- : Robert Patrick [2]

Notable media projects associated with the Veterans History Project[edit]

For Women's History Month (March) 2007, the Library of Congress celebrated American women who have served their country in wartime by screening a series of films, shorts, and television episodes, titled "Women at War", which depicts the experiences of women who served the nation during the major wars of the 20th century (World Wars I and II, and the Korean, Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars. :[12]

In September 2007, Ken BurnsPBS documentary, titled The War, first aired during a 2007 joint community engagement between the Library of Congress Veterans History Project and PBS. The seven-part television miniseries underscores the VHP's objective: to build the historic record by collecting first-hand recollections of men and women who served the United States during wartime. Moreover, the documentary's profiles of civilians as well as servicemen and women emphasizes another aspect of the VHP: that oral histories of civilians who have work in support of war efforts - such as Rosie the Riveters and USO workers - are appropriate inclusions.[12]

On October 1, 2007, the VHP launched a companion website to Ken Burns' documentary, The War, to "guide viewers through each episode, detail related historic events through the perspectives of hundreds of World War II veterans who contributed their recollections to the project archives, and showcase the wide variety of media contributed to the archives.[14]

On November 11, 2008, the VHP commemorated Veterans Day with a special online presentation featuring firsthand recollections of African American soldiers from the 92nd Infantry Division of World War II.[15]


  1. ^ "About the Veterans History Project (American Folklife Center)". Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  2. ^ "Veterans History Project >> Representative Joe Sestak". 2000-10-27. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  3. ^ "The D'Azzo Research Library Newsletter". 2000-10-27. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  4. ^ Chris Coutu (2000-10-27). "Make A Difference, Support American Veterans & Troops, Now!". American Warrior.Us. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  5. ^ "How did the Veterans History Project start?". Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  6. ^ Springer, Jason. "Training for the Veterans History Project". Blue Jersey. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  7. ^ "Central Connecticut State University (CCSU): FAQ". 2000-10-27. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  8. ^ "Representative Kenny Marchant: Featured Story: Learn About The Veterans History Project". Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  9. ^ "INTEGRIS Third Age Life Senior Services: Veteran's History Project". 2000-10-27. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  10. ^ "History". Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  11. ^ "Veterans History Project". 2000-10-27. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  12. ^ a b "VHP Celebrates Women's History Month with Film Series "Women at War"". Retrieved 22 December 2010. 
  13. ^ "Movie Review: Ladies Courageous". The New York Times. 1944. 
  14. ^ The Library of Congress (October 1, 2007). "Veterans History Project Web Site Enhances Experience of "The War"". News From the Library of Congress. 
  15. ^ The Library of Congress (November 6, 2008). "Veterans History Project Spotlights Stories of WWII 92nd Infantry Division: Soldiers from WWII African American Unit Recount History in Their Own Words". News From the Library of Congress. 

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "About the Veterans History Project, Library of Congress - American Folklife Center".