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Northwest Ohio Veterans' Oral History Project

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Rutherford B. Hayes Collections
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Return to Manuscripts Collections

Preserving the invaluable contributions of veterans
The wartime experiences of WWII Marine combat photographer Richard Stotz form the first collection in the project.The Manuscripts Division launched a new program titled Northwest Ohio Veterans' Oral History Project. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and make accessible the personal recollections of American war veterans from Northwest Ohio via personal narratives, correspondence, and visual materials. The project focuses on veterans who served in the armed forces as early as World War II to the present day.

Staff member Julie Mayle has begun interviewing veterans. She makes an audio recording of each interview, which along with scans of photographs, letters, and correspondence provided by the veteran are preserved as part of the Center’s Local History Collection. These materials are accessible for use by educators, students, researchers, scholars, and historians. There is no cost to participants thanks to sponsorship from Diversified Insurance and the Motorists Insurance Group .

After project materials have been processed, the veteran and/or family will receive a packet that includes a typed transcription of the interview, photocopies of photographs and documents, a description of that veteran’s collection, and a CD containing digital files of all material in his/her 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 this project, please contact Julie Mayle or Curator of Manuscripts Nan Card at 419-332-2081, ext. 239. We will arrange a time and place convenient for you. Also, please keep in mind that this project is on-going. We will continue doing oral histories as long as veterans are interested in sharing their stories.

Businesses and organizations also can get involved by sponsoring a veteran. Sponsorships help defray the costs of transcribing, copying, and digitizing materials related to a veteran. 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. (For sponsorship information contact Kathy Boukissen at 419-332-2081, ext. 226 or email kboukissen@rbhayes.org.)

To access an already-completed interview with a veteran click here.