History could not exist without the personal records of people. Acutely aware of the importance of preserving the letters, diaries, pictures, and objects of past generations, the Hayes Presidential Center has launched the Northwest Ohio Veterans’ Oral History Project.
The program focuses on amassing the personal recollections of America’s war veterans in order to preserve an authentic record of wartime events from World War II to the present day. Two military veterans from Northwest Ohio already have participated in the project and more are being sought.
The process begins with a personal interview which is recorded. That recording is transcribed and combined with scans of photographs, letters and correspondence provided by the veteran. The materials then become part of the Hayes Presidential Center’s local history collection and can be studied by educators, students, researchers and scholars.
Once all project materials are processed the veteran and/or family receives a Northwest Ohio Veterans’ Oral History Project packet that includes a typed transcription of the interview, photocopies of photographs and documents, a description of that collection, and a CD containing digital files of all material in the veteran’s individual collection. Original photographs and documents are returned. However, the Hayes Center would be pleased to accept veterans’ donations of original documents, letters and photographs.
If you or someone you know is a military veteran from Northwest Ohio, and would like to participate in the project please contact Curator of Manuscripts Nan Card or Julie Mayle at 419-332-2081, ext. 239. Businesses and organizations also can get involved in the project by sponsoring a veteran. Sponsorships help defray the costs of transcribing, copying and digitizing materials.
Although no tribute can truly match the magnitude of his or her service and sacrifice to this nation, it is important for each and every veteran’s experience to be told and preserved.
The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center is located at the corner of Hayes and Buckland avenues in Fremont. For general information call 419-332-2081 or visit the Center’s website www.rbhayes.org.
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