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Press contacts: Tom Wiener (202) 707-0977, twie@loc.gov
Jeffrey Lofton (202) 707-6432, jlof@loc.gov

Public contact: Veterans History Project (202) 707-4916, vohp@loc.gov

VETERANS HISTORY PROJECT CELEBRATES WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH WITH SPECIAL WEB FEATURE

The Veterans History Project, a program of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center, will celebrate Women’s History Month on March 1, 2007, with “Women at War,” an addition of 12 fully digitized collections to the “Experiencing War” Web series. Learn more at www.loc.gov/warstories.

“Women at War” covers four wars, beginning with World War II, the first conflict in which American women appeared in uniform in all branches of the armed forces. The collection of stories includes nurses like Frances Liberty, who served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, and Jeanne Urbin Markle, who served with her husband in Vietnam. Other stories feature civilian codebreakers, a flight surgeon, and two history makers.

“We’re humbled by the significant contributions these valiant women have made to our military history, and we are offer these stories as a way of encouraging more women to come forward with their own experiences,” states Bob Patrick, director of the Project. “We have over 45,000 collections in the Veterans History Project, but only 3,000 of them are women. We’d like to push that percentage up.” “Women at War” features two officers who were legitimate trailblazers: Jeanne Holm, who in 1971 became the first woman general in the U.S. Air Force, and Darlene Iskra, who in 1990 became the first woman in command of a ship in the history of the U.S. Navy.

This is the twelfth set of individual stories—comprising interviews, letters, photographs and written memoirs—to be featured on the Veterans History Project site. Past themes include D-Day, prisoners of war, military medicine, spies, and African Americans. Companion sites to the project’s two books, Forever a Soldier and Voices of War, can be viewed on the “Experiencing War” site.

To date, more than 45,000 individuals have submitted stories to the Veterans History Project, and 3,900 of those stories can be accessed online [www.loc.gov/vets], many of which include audio and video interviews, photographs, diaries, letters and other materials, consisting of more than 150,000 online items. These materials are part of the continuing effort by the Library to make its collections accessible online.

Veterans from World War I through current conflicts, and the civilians who supported them, are coming forward to record their personal stories and contribute personal documents for a growing archives in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The goal is to collect, preserve and share with future generations the stories of all American war veterans.

Become involved in the Veterans History Project. Request a project how-to kit via email at vohp@loc.gov, download a kit from the Veterans History Project Web site at www.loc.gov/vets, or call the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848.

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  August 10, 2010
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