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Archive Of Modern American Warfare Aims To Preserve Veteran History

Published By: 
The ACA News Team
Published Date: 
Wed, 06/01/2016

For over 26 years, the Vietnam Center and Archive at Texas Tech University has been collecting and preserving records from Vietnam veterans and has amassed the largest collection of Vietnam War records outside the National Archives. Thanks to Vietnam veterans who have contributed their materials to the archive, the history of these men and women continues to be preserved fifty years after the end of the Vietnam War. But what will become of the history of those who served in conflicts after Vietnam? In fifty years, will the historical record of these conflicts be as rich as it is for the Vietnam conflict today? The Vietnam Center is working to ensure that the history of modern war veterans is preserved with the creation of its new project, the Archive of Modern American Warfare (AMAW). The AMAW collects and preserves the records of veterans who served in military conflicts after 1975, such as Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operations Provide Relief and Restore Hope, Operation Joint Endeavor, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. It encompasses issues regarding national security, diplomacy, military and government intelligence, homeland defense, the development of military technologies, and the personal experiences of American service members and their families and supporters on the home front.

In order for this project to succeed, we need your help. The AMAW is seeking donations of records from veterans of America’s modern wars. While the AMAW collects traditional archival materials (such as personal papers, artifacts, and oral histories), our primary collecting focus is on digital materials such as emails, text messages, digital documents, digital photographs, digital videos, and digital audio recordings. There is an urgent need to collect these types of materials as soon as possible. Digital materials can become inaccessible within a decade if the technology used to render them becomes obsolete and proper preservation actions (such as migration to supportable formats) are not taken. It is important that veterans’ digital records are given the professional attention that they require now before technological obsolescence makes them inaccessible and the valuable historical information they contain is lost forever. These digital materials will be made available to researchers in an online portal that is currently under construction. Veterans will also be able to use the portal to directly upload their digital materials to the AMAW.

If you are a modern war veteran and you are interested in donating your materials to the Archive of Modern American Warfare, please contact archivist Andrew Hinton at 806-834-5971 or You can also visit the AMAW in person at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas or online at for more information. Also, please take the time to complete our survey at The survey is used to determine the extent of records you have that document your military experience and your willingness to donate these records to the AMAW. The results of this survey will be used in a grant application that will give us the funding we need to establish our online portal.

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