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VHP’s New Research Guide: Exploring the Collections

Two researchers sit in the AFC Reading Room and review archival material.

Researchers examine VHP material in the AFC Reading Room, 2014. Photo by VHP Staff.

Calling all researchers! The Veterans History Project (VHP) is excited to announce a new resource that will help you find what you’re looking for within our archive—which currently includes over 111,000 individual veterans’ materials.

That’s a LOT of oral histories, letters, photos, diaries, and other primary source material, so we created this new guide to facilitate your searches of our online database and digitized collections. It’s called a LibGuide, and it’s chock full of tips and tricks to mine our holdings. The Library of Congress has over 900 LibGuides, covering everything from Abraham Lincoln in Prints and Photographs to Zines at the Library of Congress, and they are a tremendous resource for researchers of all stripes.

This VHP LibGuide, entitled Veterans History Project: Exploring the Collections, was designed to introduce prospective researchers to the types of materials we have in our archive and how to use our online search tools. It begins with an orientation of our website, paying special attention to how to locate our online database. Then, it gets into the nuts-and-bolts of how VHP collections work: how they are organized, described, and made accessible. It addresses our digitized holdings—those collections that contain some element that is viewable on our website—and how to access those that are not digitized.

Screenshot from the VHP LibGuide, with the headline "Common Questions about Digitized Collections"

Screenshot from the new LibGuide, featuring information about digitized collections.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it encourages you to get in touch with us if you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for within our collection. The LibGuide was designed to introduce you to the research process and offer some guidance on basic search strategies—but it only scratches the surface of the possibilities of our collection. For complex or nuanced questions, your best bet is to contact our reference staff at [email protected]. We love to help patrons track down the perfect resource; speaking personally, it’s one of the most gratifying parts of my job. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if the LibGuide doesn’t address your particular concerns.

We’re hopeful that you’ll find our new LibGuide useful and interesting. In the coming months, we plan to release additional LibGuides that dive into specific facets of our collection. First up is a look at collections relating to Navajo Code Talkers from World War II, so please watch this space for related announcements!

Special thanks to all those who made this LibGuide possible, including Samantha Meier, Rachel Telford, Nathan Cross, Justina Moloney, Rachel Mears, John Fenn, Stephanie Hall, and Betsy Fulford.

2 Comments

  1. Kurt Dewhurst
    June 23, 2021 at 8:51 am

    Congratulations on this new research collections guide! An impressive new tool that will really enhance collection use.

    • Megan Harris
      June 23, 2021 at 1:51 pm

      Thank you so much for the kudos and kind words, Mr. Dewhurst! We’re very proud of the new LibGuide and hope it’ll be a great resource for patrons. Thanks for reading!

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