Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the Veterans History Project interested in?
The Project collects first-hand accounts of US veterans who served in World War I (1914-1920), World War II (1939-1946), or the Korea War (1950-1955), Vietnam War (1961-1975), Persian Gulf War (1990-1995), Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts (2001-present). Those US citizens who were actively involved in war efforts (such as war industry workers, USO workers, flight instructors, medical volunteers, etc.) are also invited to share their stories.
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| Congressman Steny Hoyer, one of the original sponsors of the VHP legislation, interviewing Tuskegee Airman Dr. C.C. Robinson at the Museum, 2007 |
Many of our veterans and supporters don't realize how important their contributions were to the war effort. You may feel that your service did not represent a major turning point or outstanding achievement in the war, or that you do not remember your service well enough to contribute much. However, the recollections of each of our veterans (no matter how "significant") give us a more complete and accurate understanding of the war. These memories and stories will benefit future generations and allow each veteran or supporter to be a part of the Library of Congress's National Veterans History Collection.
How does the College Park Aviation Museum fit into the Veterans History Project? As an "Official State Partner" of the Veterans History Program, the College Park Aviation Museum is committed to helping document veterans' stories. Our role is to reach out to veterans and work with them to record and document their histories. The Museum then sends the interviews to the Library of Congress for incorporation into their collection.
Do I need to have some connection to the College Park Airport to be interviewed by the museum? What if I'm not a pilot? You do not have to have flight experience, or a relationship with College Park Airport, to participate. Of course we're interested in any relationship you may have with College Park, but we're just as interested in other experiences. If the Veterans History Project is interested in you (see the previous question), we're interested in you.
I want to participate. How do I schedule an interview at the College Park Aviation Museum? You can schedule an interview by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the College Park Aviation Museum any day between 10 am-5 pm at 301-864-6029, or by accessing the "contact" feature at the bottom of this page. We will set up a convenient interview date and time and send you a confirmation.
How long do the interviews last? The maximum length is 90 minutes. There are no requirements for minimum length. Interviews typically last from 45 to 80 minutes. Don't be discouraged by the amount of time; veterans have told us that time seems to fly during the interviews.
What's the interview like?
The interview is really just a conversation between you and the interviewer about your experiences. Every interview is unique, but each follows a general pattern. Much like a story in a book, the interviews have a beginning (Background and Early Service), a middle (Wartime Activities), and an end (Post-Service Activities). A list of possible questions can be found at the Library of Congress's Veterans History Project website .
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| Lars Wilcut, the Museum's VHP Coordinator, interviewing WWII veteran John Liebl |
All recorded interviews are filmed with a digital camera. We send the completed interview on a DVD to the Library of Congress. You may request a copy of your interview at no charge in appreciation for the generous giving of your time. To help us get started with our interviews, our program volunteers will have you fill out several forms that we will provide on the day of the interview:
Biographical Data Form
- This form gives us your basic information such as name and address and includes questions on branch of service, date of enlistment, rank, and other questions about your service. To view a copy of this form before your visit you may access this on the VHP website, request it by mail or fax, or stop by and we will be happy to make you a copy. For military veterans, it may be helpful for you to bring your DD214, Certificate of Release of Discharge from Active Duty, if you have one. Veterans Release Form
- to be signed by the veteran. Gives the Library of Congress permission to deposit your oral history DVD and any additional materials you decide to donate into their collection. This form also gives them ownership and rights to the documentation.
Should I bring anything, like photos, with me to my interview?
We encourage our Veterans to bring photos or other documents that are useful in stirring memories. Feel free to bring anything that may help you recall people, places, and stories of your experience.
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| WWII veteran Harry Moore in his aviation greens, ca. 1944 |
The VHP is interested in any photos, maps, diaries and documents. You may bring them in to be filmed at the end of your interview, or even donate them to the Library of Congress. If you have the ability to digitize your images the LOC would be particularly interested in these. The College Park Aviation Museum can digitize images, please let up know before you come, so that we can staff and equipment ready.
What happens to the video after we complete the interview? After the interview, Museum staff will put the footage on a DVD and mail it to the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress will catalog all oral histories and documentation, and the names of both veterans and civilians interviewed will appear on the Library of Congress website log. Your collection will be added to the Veterans History Project's archives at the LOC. Once it is processed, the veteran's service history information will be available on LOC's online database and the interview (or other materials) will be available to researchers who visit the Library of Congress.
Where can I go for more information on the Veterans History Project? You can get information about the interviews and what is involved with them by logging on to the official VHP website . You can also go to the bottom of this or any page on our website and click on "contact" to send us an inquiry. If we cannot answer your questions, we will find someone who can.