Monday, December 7, 2015

Every Veteran is a Story : Resources at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum

Guest post by Russ Horton, Reference & Outreach Archivist at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, WI Dept. of Veterans Affairs

The Wisconsin Veterans Museum logo
Courtesy of the WVM
The end of each calendar year brings two significant veteran-related observances: Veterans Day on November 11 and Pearl Harbor Day on December 7. These two events often spur an increase in patron questions about both individual veterans and a community's ties to the military. For instance, how many veterans from my city/county/Wisconsin have served in the military? How many men and women from my city/county/Wisconsin were at Pearl Harbor? The Wisconsin Veterans Museum (WVM) is a great resource for libraries and their patrons to find answers to such questions.

A great example of the resources available is in the Wisconsin and Pearl Harbor page that WVM created to answer some of the most common questions about that historic event. It provides a list of the Wisconsin service people who were killed on December 7, 1941, allows visitors to listen to Pearl Harbor veterans describe their experience through audio excerpts from WVM's oral history collection, and features several documents and objects from Wisconsin Pearl Harbor veterans.

Many other resources under the Researchers tab can prove useful to libraries and patrons researching Wisconsin veterans. WVM's Civil War database allows users to search by the name of the soldier or regiment, as well as by residence. A similar database is currently available for Spanish-American War, with a World War I database forthcoming in the near future.

Beyond all of this, the staff at WVM have developed an expertise in helping patrons find answers to their military and veteran related questions. Libraries and patrons are encouraged to contact staff at WVM if they cannot find an answer on the website.

Guest post written by:
Russ Horton, Reference & Outreach Archivist at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, WI Dept. of Veterans Affairs