Over 20 million military veterans live in the U.S. and, since 2000, the Library of Congress has worked to record their experiences for its Veterans History Project. So far, the initiative has collected over 100,000 audio stories and published an online archive featuring thousands of personal items from former servicemembers.
Congress established the Veterans History Project during the final year of President Bill Clinton’s second term and tasked the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress with running the program. Today, the center organizes collection events around Washington, D.C. and collaborates with Veterans of Foreign Wars posts across the country to gather narratives. Additionally, veterans can submit their own audio or video recordings.
Proponents of the project say it provides unique insights into key armed conflicts that shaped America and gives veterans a voice.