Preserving Stories of Service for Future Generations

Veteran's History Project LogoTimberland Regional Library (TRL), as an official partner of the Library of Congress, invites you to join in an important national project—the Veterans History Project.

The mission of the national project is to collect the memories and accounts of American war veterans, and to preserve these stories of experience and service for future generations. TRL’s first emphasis will be on World War II.

The project honors our nation’s war veterans and those who served in support of them. Trained volunteers will create a lasting legacy by interviewing veterans and other citizens, chronicling their wartime experiences and how those experiences affected their lives and America itself.

First Focus: World War II

TRL is the first public library in Washington State to become an official partner in the project. During the first years of its participation, TRL is focusing on World War II veterans and civilians with World War II experiences, as they are the elders of our national heritage and we are in danger of losing their stories. Help keep the stories of "The Greatest Generation" alive.

To do this, we need VOLUNTEERS.

You can help:

  • Allow TRL to record your wartime memories for future generations.
  • Participate in an Interview Team. One member will operate a video camera, and another will conduct the interview. About twice a year TRL will conduct training in both Camera Skills and Interviewing Techniques. The most important qualifications are being a good listener and caring about the story and the storyteller. We are looking for interview Teams from each of our five counties.
  • Locate World War II veterans; "Rosie the Riveters" who worked in the Chehalis or Hoquiam Boeing Airplane factories; and other civilians involved in World War II, so they can have their experiences recorded.
  • Interview veterans while a library staff person operates a video camera.

TRL has recorded over 150 World War II related interviews by mid-2007, and over the next year plans to expand the project to include other Senior’s stories. The Library sees the Veterans History Project as the first step in creating a "Living History Program" of interviews with old timers throughout the library district.

A videographer from TRL will record the interviews on a digital video camera that will allow for making a DVD and/or VHS copy for the Library of Congress, the Veterans Memorial Museum in Centralia, the Timberland library collections, and the person who was interviewed. Digital video recording was chosen because of the superior audio and video results as well as its permanence as a recording medium. TRL will also record digital audio interviews for people who do not want to be videotaped.

All recordings of personal oral histories, as well as snapshots of documents and photographs will be submitted to the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. The Library of Congress will preserve these accounts and create a comprehensive, searchable national catalog of all the oral histories and documents collected during this project. They plan to eventually place the actual interviews on their web site so that they may be seen and heard by people around the world.

Project Launch

The local Veterans History Project was launched at the Centralia Timberland Library on December 7, 2003.

Partners

At the national level, the Library of Congress, AARP and the Disabled American Veterans founded the project in 2000.

At the local level, TRL acknowledges the invaluable advice and support provided by Lee Grimes of the Veterans Memorial Museum and Karl Schmidt of Bristol Productions.

Underwriting for the program comes from the Timberland Regional Library Foundation.

Contact

Tim Mallory, Adult Services Coordinator, 360-704-4502, tmallory@trlib.org

  • For information about the project
  • To volunteer as an interviewer and for information about training
  • To schedule an interview