The Veterans History Project
The Preservation of Our History
The Northern California Veterans Museum and Heritage Center is proud to be a working partner with The Library of Congress on the Veterans History Project. Together we are preserving and archiving Veterans stories, memoirs, pictures and artifacts. This includes all branches of the military from WWI to the Present. The Veterans History Project relies on volunteers to collect and preserve the stories of wartime service. Our primary focus is on first hand accounts from the following wars.
Korean War (1950-1955)
Vietnam War (1961-1975)
Grenada/Panama/Beruit Conflicts ( 1983/1989)
Persian Gulf War/Somalia/Kosovo (1990-1995)
Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts (2001- Present)
The Northern California Veterans Museum and Heritage Center will house all stories in our research library and we will furnish The Library of Congress with a copy of all stories. We will use other military artifacts, such as weapons, uniforms, memoirs, badges, medals and other personal items within the various galleries of the museum.
The museum asks that families of Veterans and Veterans themselves, consider donating Veterans items to the museum rather than discarding them in such ways as the garbage or thrift stores. All Veterans items are vitally important to us and to the future generations that we are educating.
Please use the form below to contact us for an interview or to contact us regarding, the donation of military artifacts including uniforms, weapons, memoirs or other personal items from Veterans.
Guide to Preservation
Important: Most scrap-booking techniques are destructive to the items being presented. Library items may be re-bound for public consumption in the future, so assembling copies of documents and photos into expensive, bulky binding and matting might not be the best use of your time. Simple is best. Families and individuals might better serve their memories by scanning images and letters and incorporating them into a printed booklet, thus the items could be easily accessible and still protected. In addition to preserving your historic objects it is important to remember to preserve the history or the story that goes with them. For example the dress worn by your Great, Great, Grandmother, when she crossed the Great Plains in a covered wagon is just a dress if the story is lost. Take the time to write down the story that goes with your objects; include as much information as you have. Don't worry about writing a history of the world the important things are the details that are known only to you and your family. After you have written down the history safeguard it by giving copies to other family members.
SEVEN HAZARDS TO HISTORIC ARTIFACTS
The basic principle of preservation of historic memorabilia is DO NO HARM. The following hazards are recognized as some of the most dangerous to historic memorabilia.
1. Light Too much light speeds deterioration of photographs, textiles and printed or hand written paper, furniture, etc. Historic objects should be protected from excessive light levels, and especially from sunlight and florescent light, which contain high amounts of ultraviolet radiation, which is the most harmful form of light. Place furniture, antique quilts, and other memorabilia out of direct sunlight and/or florescent light.
2. Temperature Too high or too low a temperature (or rapid temperature changes) can damage rubber, wood, metal, etc. Store or display historic memorabilia in spaces that have a climate control system (heating and air conditioning). Do not store in sheds, attics, and basements.
3. Humidity Humidity that is too high encourages pest and mold growth on paper, textiles and parchment, and promotes rust on metal. Humidity that is too low can cause objects to become brittle. Organic objects in particular absorb and release moisture depending on the relative humidity of their environment and need a stable humidity. Store historic memorabilia in an area that has a steady, constant humidity (45% to 55%), and store or display historic materials away from heating and air conditioning vents.
4. Pests Different types of historic materials attract different types of pests. Roaches and silverfish are attracted to paper and books. Moths are attracted to protein fibers such as silk and wool. Termites are attracted to woods. Conduct regular inspection of historic objects that attract pests.
5. Human Beings Human beings are one of the greatest threats to historic objects, not only due to surface compounds, such as oil, sweat and make-up that they carry on their skin, but also because we continue to use historic objects made from wood and metal. These oils and other surface substances are transferred to the object during handling. Wear cotton or nylon gloves when handling historic paper, textiles, photographs and objects made from wood and metal. Many objects are damaged because people handle them in inappropriate ways, such as trying on clothing, taking items to show and tell at school or even using them for their original purpose. All of these uses put undue strain on the objects and put them at risk for loss or damage.
6. Chemical Reaction and Air Pollutants Certain types of materials, such as metal and marble react to chemicals present in the air. This is a particular concern for outdoor objects such as marble statuary, iron architectural elements, etc. Chemicals such a formaldehyde and acidic gases from wooden compounds can also harm historic objects.
7. Inherent Vice Some objects that are composed incompatible materials such as wood and leather or wood and paint, have built in deterioration risks. Conduct regular inspections of these objects for any changes in condition.
Coming Soon Basic Preservation Techniques