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 Library & Museums has launched the Northwest Ohio Veterans' Oral History Project.

The program is gathering 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. Almost two dozen 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 duplicated materials then become part of the Hayes Presidential Library’s Local History Collection and can be studied by educators, students, researchers, and scholars.There is no cost to participants thanks to sponsorship from Diversified Insurance and the Motorists Insurance Group .

Once all project materials are processed the veteran and/or family receives a packet that includes a typed transcription of the interview, photocopies of all photographs and documents, a description of his/her collection, and a CD containing digital files of all materials in the veteran’s collection. Original photographs and documents are returned. If the veteran is interested in donating his/her original materials, the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums would be pleased to accept them and make them part of our permanent collections where they will be preserved in perpetuity.

If you or someone you know is a military veteran from Northwest, Ohio, and would like to participate in the Northwest Ohio Veterans' Oral History Project please contact Curator of Manuscripts Nan Card or Julie Mayle at 419-332-2081, ext. 239. They 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.

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.

To view some of the completed interviews, click here.