West Point Oral-History Project Will Make Soldiers’ Stories Available Online

The U.S. Military Academy, in West Point, N.Y., has established a video oral-history project that will collect the stories of soldiers of all ages and make them available online for students, historians, journalists, and the public. The project, created by the academy’s history department, already has a preview site with a video explaining its goals, but the site’s formal unveiling won’t come until sometime in 2009.

“Soldiers’ personal stories are a largely untapped mine of military insight and historical testimony,” said Todd Brewster, a former journalist who is director of the project. In addition to recording battlefield stories of soldiers — including those now deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as those who served in conflicts as far back as World War II — project leaders hope to interview senior policy makers, among them former secretaries of defense and state. Besides video, the project will collect audio recordings and textual materials.

Source:  http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/article/3497/west-point-oral-history-project-will-make-soldiers-stories-available-online

What a great way to keep history alive.  Not to mention, war sounds more horrible through the 18-24 year old eyes of those who lived through it.  It also helps us appreciate the true nature of the sacrifice those that fought for this country have actually given.  Not to mention it is going to make a wonderful digital multimedia collection of great interest and value to historians, students, journalists, and the public at large. I do think that it would be interesting to compare the experience of the West Point graduates to other soldiers that served.  Is recording only the graduates of this academy selective history?  Of course, no single institution can interview and preserve the memories of every soldier who served but it does bring up an interesting conundrum about the limits of a single digital collection.