“Grandpa and Grandma, what did you do when you were serving our country?” For National Preservation Week 2013, one of the resources being highlighted by the Library of Congress is the Veterans History Project. The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. Visit Experiencing War a special Preservation Week Exhibit from the Veterans History Project
It is never too early to start preserving the memories of the service members or veterans in our lives. Personal stories represented in the objects and correspondence of veterans, connect us all to history in a way textbooks never will. And for family members, there's an even greater connection, and urgency to save and pass on the stories of loved ones.
While older veterans may have stored away their photographs, letters, and diaries, and rediscovered them years later, largely unchanged; younger veterans whose memories are stored digitally may not have this luxury. With early action, the photos, emails, and blog posts of today’s service members will still be available to provide a window into today for future generations.
The Preservation Week website lists useful resources that provide tips for preserving many of the types of keepsakes important to military families. Get started with the Quick Preservation Tips and Quick Preservation Tips for Military Families. Then, explore resources on the Preserve Your Treasures pages, which provide general preservation resources, and more specific tips to help you:
● Preserve Digital Materials like email, video, and websites