Press Contact: Jeanne Smith (202) 707-4337
Public Contact: Federal Research Division (202) 707-9900
December 2, 1994
Library of Congress Makes POW/MIA Documents Index Available on the Internet
Bibliographic records for government documents on prisoners of war and service personnel missing in action in Southeast Asia have been added to the Library's offerings on the Internet. The records describe how researchers may obtain copies of specific documents, once they have been identified.
Initially, 30,000 records are available in a demonstration file on the Internet, via the Library's World Wide Web server (Uniform Resource Locator: http://www.loc.gov). The complete bibliographic file for the collection of 200,000 records, formally titled "Correlated and Uncorrelated Information Relating to Missing Americans in Southeast Asia," will be available on the Internet in the near future, according to Herbert S. Becker, director of the Library's Information Technology Services. This is expected by March 1995.
The POW/MIA documents were transferred to the Library's Federal Research Division, beginning in 1992, by the Department of Defense. They were microfilmed and added to the Library's collection with an index which, until now, was available for use by researchers only in the Library.
With Internet access to the database, a researcher now can identify documents of interest by using search terms such as names, country names, service branches, keywords, and descriptive terms like "downed over Laos." A researcher in the United States may acquire documents in two ways:
1. By requesting microfilmed copies of the documents through interlibrary loan to a public library. This service is free but the microfilm must be returned.
2. By ordering photocopies or microfilmed copies from the Library's Photoduplication Service. There is a fee for this service, but copies need not be returned.
Because the Library no longer makes foreign interlibrary loans, researchers from other parts of the world must order copies from the Photoduplication Service. The mailing address for the Photoduplication Service is Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540-5234, and the telephone number is (202) 707-5640.
Information on how to search records and order documents can be found at the beginning of the demonstration file of 30,000 records now available on the Internet.
Also newly available on-line from the Library of Congress are 25 files containing papers from the U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POWs/MIAs. These files contain the minutes of biweekly and triweekly meetings of the commission with supplementary materials. Translations of Russian archival documents studied by the commission will be added to the Internet offerings later.
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