Library of Virginia receives $315k grant to digitized World War II records

The Library’s project  received a $315,000 NEH grant through the Library of Virginia Foundation...
The Library’s project received a $315,000 NEH grant through the Library of Virginia Foundation to digitize separation notices of WWII-era Virginia service members and make them accessible through community outreach transcription and online searchability.(Library of Virginia)
Published: Apr. 17, 2022 at 9:13 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Library of Virginia foundation has received $315,000 in grant money from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Library’s project “War, Remembrance, and the Power of Records: Digitizing the Library of Virginia’s WWII Separation Notices” will use the funds to digitize 250,000 separation notices of WWII-era Virginia service members.

These separation records for men and women in the Armed Forces range from 1942 to 1950, a bulk of these records are from 1944 through 1946. They say that they intend to seek employment in Virginia after their discharge. They also include personal identifying information like the date and place of birth, physical description, race, marital status, and civilian occupations. As well as rank, military organization, date of induction or enlistment, place of entry into service, military occupation, battles and campaigns, decorations and citations, wounds received in action, service outside the continental United States, prior service, total length of service and reason for separation.

The separation notice of Paul B. Burgess.
The separation notice of Paul B. Burgess.(Library of Virginia)
The separation notice of service member Gwendolyn Edwards.
The separation notice of service member Gwendolyn Edwards.(Library of Virginia)

The library foundation will use the funding to make these records accessible through community outreach transcription and online searchability through a three-year initiative. The initiative focuses on digitizing the collection and then working with community groups, family members, school groups and educators and others to uncover details and fill gaps in the stories of these individuals, potentially making connections and discoveries about the people of this era.

“We are sincerely grateful for the support and recognition of this collection’s national importance by NEH,” said Scott Dodson, Executive Director of the Library of Virginia Foundation. “As the Commonwealth of Virginia’s oldest institution dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing Virginia’s history and culture, we are thrilled to make these records accessible and searchable for family members, historians, and the public.”

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