Upon receiving a $95,740 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Texas Tech Vietnam Center and Archive will be able to upload its entire collection of oral interviews. 

This collection will include interviews, which are conducted by the VNCA Oral History Project, that are transcribed and edited from multiple Vietnam war veterans and their families, according to a Tech news release.

 “Our interviews provide a human face to the conflict, offering insight into the emotional and psychological costs of war that researchers cannot get from traditional government and military documents,” VNCA Director Steve Maxner said, according to the news release. “This level of comprehension is critical, not just for students and scholars, but for military and government officials who make the policies and ultimate decisions that send our military men and women into harm’s way.”

The backlogged collection consists of 185 interviews comprising about 725 hours of audio, according to the news release. Although these interviews are already available through the Virtual Vietnam Archive, which is an online portal with open-access to the digital holdings of the VNCA, they are not easy for researches to access because researchers may have to listen through hours of recordings to find a specific piece of information.

However, the NEH grant funding will allow the VNCA to hire student assistants who will transcribe and edit the content over the next two and a half years, according to the news release. These transcriptions will allow the interviews to be searched by keyword, making them more accessible for researchers.

“These interviews with veterans and their loved ones can offer invaluable insights into an individual’s experiences of war, sacrifice and service, and thus enrich society’s understanding of warfare, while giving them a vital and intimate link to the people of the Vietnam generation,” VNCA Associate Director Amy K. Mondt, said, according to the news release. 

The project will run through Dec. 31, 2021, according to the news release. Mondt said she hopes the transcripts of these interviews will provide researchers and patrons of all generations access to insight on military service and its lifelong influence on an individual.

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