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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

How did the Veterans History Project start? 

How can I be interviewed?

Is there a deadline for submitting materials to the Project?

What information is made public on the National Registry of Service? Will my private information be available for anyone to see?

What happens to the material once it is received? How will my collection be used?

How can I obtain a copy of an interview or a collection?

When will my name appear on the National Registry of Service?

Will my collection be digitized online?

How can I conduct research or view Veterans History Project collections?

Is there an online database of Veterans History Project collections? What may I search for online?

Is the Veterans History Project only interested in World War II?

I'm not a military veteran, but I contributed to the war effort as a civilian. Do you want my story?

Is the Veterans History Project only collecting oral histories?

After I send in my materials, may I send more materials at a later time? 

What does the Veterans History Project NOT collect?

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How did the Veterans History Project start? 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 William Jefferson Clinton on October 27, 2000. How can I be interviewed? While the Veterans History Project does not do the actual interviewing, our Project Kit provides the tools you need to conduct an interview yourself, or have a friend or family member do it with you. Also, many of our partner organizations do interviewing. Check our List of Official Partners to locate a partner near you. Is there a deadline for submitting materials to the Project? No. The Project is ongoing; however, there is a sense of urgency to gather individuals' materials, so we encourage you to complete your project as soon as possible. What information is made public on the National Registry of Service? Will my private information be available for anyone to see? The only information that will appear on the online National Registry of Service are the name, date and place of birth, and service history information as it is given on the Biographical Data Form. Please review the Registry at http://www.loc.gov/folklife/vets/vets-registry.html for examples. In addition, if a researcher visits the Library and uses a collection for research, personal information ( address, phone number, serial number, etc.) is censored on all Veterans History Project forms (i.e. Biographical Data Form, Audio and Video Recording Log, etc.) before being served. If a patron ever needs to contact a veteran (for copyright permission, for example), only the veteran's mailing address is given. Protect your privacy by avoiding labeling items like tapes, memoirs, and photographs with personal mailing labels or social security numbers. Such labeling is generally not censored on collection materials, as this would compromise the integrity of the materials. What happens to the material once it is received? How will my collection be used? Your collection will be added to the Veterans History Project's archives. Once it is processed and housed in a preservation environment, the veteran's service history information will be available online in our National Registry of Service and the interview (or other materials) will be available to researchers who visit the Library of Congress. Prospective researchers will be able to review collections by registering for a Reader Registration Card and visiting the Folklife Center Reading Room at the Library. Some collections are also used by the Library of Congress for special presentations and events presenting and promoting the Veterans History Project. For preservation quality purposes, we request that you send original recordings, photographs, and other materials. Please make any copies you wish to retain for yourself before submitting your recording, photographs, or written materials to the Veterans History Project. How can I obtain a copy of an interview or a collection? The Library of Congress has established procedures for obtaining copies of all of its collection materials for a fee. Information about the request process and current associated fees are available online at http://lcweb.loc.gov/rr/mopic/copies.html . Please note that in order for the Veterans History Project to release the original recording for duplication, we must receive from the interviewee a written letter stating his/her permission for you to copy the recording. This protects the rights of the interviewee. Further, if you plan to use the recording for publication, you may need to obtain an additional permission from both the interviewee and interviewer(s). Because the Veterans History Project encourages participants to keep copies of interviews locally in addition to sending originals to the Library of Congress, you may also wish to contact the interviewee directly to see if he or she has a copy from which you may make a copy for yourself. Unfortunately, resources do not permit us to make gratis copies of oral histories in the Veterans History Project Collection. You are always welcome to review collections in person by visiting the American Folklife Center Reading Room. Information about arranging a visit is available online at http://www.loc.gov/folklife/vets/researchinfo.html . If you are submitting materials to the Project, please make any copies you wish to retain for yourself before submitting your recording, photographs, or written materials to the Veterans History Project. Photocopies of manuscript material and photographs can be made in the Reading Room for 20 cents each. The Library also has a Photoduplication Service if you are interested in high-quality photoduplication. Please note that the express, written permission of the interviewee and/or donor may be required for high-quality photoduplication and any subsequent publication or use of these materials. When will my name appear on the National Registry of Service? New names do not appear immediately on the Registry list; please allow the VHP staff time to properly preserve, house, and catalog collection materials. Information contained in the Registry is based on participants' own reporting of their service history. The current focus is on first-hand accounts of US veterans who served in World War I (1914-1920), World War II (1939-1946), or the Korean War (1950-1955), Vietnam War (1961-1975), or Persian Gulf War (1990-1995). Those US citizen civilians who were actively involved in supporting war efforts (such as war industry workers, USO workers, flight instructors, medical volunteers, etc.) are also invited to share their valuable stories. The Project greatly values and appreciates veterans' stories from additional combat arenas and those received will be processed as resources allow. Additionally, if you have materials or oral histories that fall outisde the above-stated areas, please review this list of related repositories that also collect and preserve veterans' materials. Will my collection be digitized online? Resources do not allow for every collection to be digitized. A regular program of digitizing those items most at-risk for preservation purposes, and for special presentations is underway. How can I conduct research or view Veterans History Project collections? The Project staff is always glad to work with researchers and those interested in reviewing the collections. If possible, please contact us at vohp@loc.gov before your visit so that we may go over your research topics and help you to identify collections of interest. Additional important information for prospective researchers/visitors is available on our research information page . Is there an online database of Veterans History Project collections? What may I search for online? At this time you may search the National Registry of Service by last name, war, or branch of service, or browse alphabetically by last name. The Registry is available online at http://www.loc.gov/folklife/vets/vets-registry.html . More detailed searches can be performed by the Project's processing staff on our in-house database. Enhanced online access to our database will available in the coming months. Is the Veterans History Project only interested in World War II? The Project collects first-hand accounts of US veterans who served in World War I (1914-1920), World War II (1939-1946), or the Korean War (1950-1955), Vietnam War (1961-1975), or Persian Gulf War (1990-1995). Those US citizen civilians who were actively involved in supporting war efforts (such as war industry workers, USO workers, flight instructors, medical volunteers, etc.) are also invited to share their valuable stories. The Project greatly values and appreciates veterans' stories from additional combat arenas and those collected will be processed as resources allow. Additionally, if you have materials or oral histories that fall outisde the above-stated areas, please review this list of related repositories that also collect and preserve veterans' materials. I'm not a military veteran, but I contributed to the war effort as a civilian. Do you want my story? Yes! The Veterans History Project collects stories and materials from the homefront as well as from the battlefield. Any wartime veteran or U.S. citizen civilian who was actively involved in supporting war efforts (such as war industry workers, USO workers, flight instructors, medical volunteers, etc.) has a story in which we are interested. Is the Veterans History Project only collecting oral histories? No. We collect personal narratives from wartime veterans and those who supported them. These stories may be recorded with a video camera or a tape recorder; however, they may also be typewritten (preferably a minimum of 10 pages). We also accept original collections of diaries, letters, maps, home movies, and photographs. After I send in my materials, may I send more materials at a later time? You are always welcome to send additional materials. Please be sure to include a note or letter indicating that you are sending an addition to your collection. What does the Veterans History Project NOT collect? The Project is focused on first-hand accounts of veterans who served in World War I (1914-1920), World War II (1939-1946), the Korean War (1950-1955), the Vietnam War (1961-1975), or the Persian Gulf War (1990-1995), and on US citizen civilians who were actively involved in supporting war efforts (such as war industry workers, USO workers, flight instructors, medical volunteers, etc.). The Project greatly values and appreciates veterans' stories from additional combat arenas and those collected will be processed as resources allow. VHP cannot collect 3-dimensional artifacts, such as medals, canteens, dog tags, helmets, uniforms, etc. Didn't find an answer to your question here? - Please Contact Us .

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