The following is a guest post by Lisa A. Taylor, Liaison Specialist for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP).
One of the many joys of working at the Veterans History Project is discovering all of the out-of-the-box ways researchers find to use the collections. VHP’s congressional mandate is to collect, preserve and make accessible the war stories of America’s veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. It is the “make accessible” part of the mission that I find particularly fascinating, because as soon as that phase is complete, it is the individual research interests that inform what happens next. The researchers who access VHP collections are not just historians, authors and documentarians. Sometimes we get inquiries from artists, medical professionals, law firms and performance troops—people and organizations you probably would not assume have an interest in war or veterans’ personal accounts.
Wall display at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport featuring photos from VHP collections. Photo by David Vogt.
One example of an out-of-the-box use of VHP collections comes from none other than Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport, the world’s busiest passenger airport, located 650 miles away from our office. Earlier this year, an airport representative tasked with creating a permanent tribute wall to honor the men and women of the United States Armed Forces found exactly what he needed as he perused VHP’s online database. After some strategy meetings with VHP staff and carefully following our Copyright permissions process, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport added 100 photographs from VHP participants’ collections to the tribute wall. How awesome is that? I’d say, very!
The airport unveiled the tribute wall during a public dedication ceremony yesterday, just in time for Independence Day and what is sure to be an even busier travel season. We are honored to have VHP collections featured in such an inventive way—one that takes our mission to accessibility and beyond.
The month of May saw the Library of Congress in a variety of headlines. In April, the Library announced that THOMAS.gov, the online legislative information system, will officially retire July 5, completing the multi-year transition to Congress.gov. David Gewirtz for ZDNet Government wrote, “You have to wonder what Thomas Jefferson would have made of the […]
(The following story was written by Mark Hartsell, editor of the Library of Congress staff newsletter, The Gazette.) Before he boarded the ship carrying prisoners of war across the ocean to a forced-labor camp, George Washington Pearcy divided his diary and gave the pieces to two comrades staying behind. If he didn’t survive the journey, […]
(The following is a guest post by William Kellum, manager in the Library’s Web Services Division.) The Manuscript Division has added two collections to its growing list of Civil War materials now available online. The papers of army officer Philip Henry Sheridan (1831-1888) span the years 1853-1896, although the majority of the material dates from […]
(The following is a guest post by William Kellum, manager in the Library’s Web Services Division.) This is the first post in a new monthly series highlighting new collections, items and presentations on the Library’s website. After checking out the items mentioned here, be sure to visit some of our other blogs that highlight our […]
The following is a guest post by Monica Mohindra, head of program coordination and communication for the Library’s Veterans History Project. Bob Patrick, director of the Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP), along with VHP staff, will answer your questions in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session beginning at 9 a.m. (ET) on […]
Willie Nelson was the talk of the town as the Library celebrated his work and career during a concert in November, as he received the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. “When Willie took the stage to accept the Gershwin prize, you could see the pride on his face,” wrote Brendan Kownacki for Hollywood on the […]
(The following story, written by Library culinary specialist Alison Kelly, is featured in the November/December 2015 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) The Nation’s Library offers a veritable feat of food-related collections. Whether you’re researching what was served at the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving or […]
(The following is a story written by Mark Hartsell for the Gazette, the Library of Congress staff newsletter.) A missing Air Crew Report, author Dennis Okerstrom says, provides plenty of facts about losses in air combat: type of aircraft, names and ranks of crew members, a flight plan. Those facts can’t, however, reveal war’s human […]
(The following story, written by Center for the Book intern Maria Comé, is featured in the September/October 2015 issue of the LCM, which you can read in it’s entirety here.) Sept. 2, 1945, marked the end of World War II, following the surrender of the Japanese to the Allied forces. Seventy years later, researchers can access the […]