2003 Governor's Archives Award Winner Announced
WHS Director Bob Thomasgard,
left, presents the 2003 Governor's
Archives Award to Department of
Veterans Affairs Administrator
The Wisconsin Veterans Museum is the winner of the 2003 Governor's Archives Award for its outstanding work to preserve and provide access to historical records about Wisconsin men and women's service in the armed forces. The Wisconsin Veterans Museum is an educational activity of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs.
In recent years, the Veterans Museum has accelerated its collecting, tripling its collection size since 1990, and in 2000, hiring its first professional archivist. The Museum has increased public accessibility of records by cataloging its collections and making them available through online databases. Close to 50 processed manuscript collections are currently posted, with more being added monthly.
The Museum has increased its programs and services by revitalizing old initiatives and launching new ones, such as the Wisconsin Veterans Oral History Project and Letters to Soldiers project. The Oral History Project, started in 1994, is an ongoing effort to interview Wisconsin veterans. Those interviews are featured in "Wisconsin World War II Stories," a production of Wisconsin Public Television and the Wisconsin Historical Society. Most recently, the Museum's Letters to Soldiers program allowed patrons to communicate via email with units and members of the Wisconsin National Guard who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Museum saves the correspondence so that it can serve as the beginning of new collections form the most recent U.S. conflicts.
A five-member committee of the Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board selected the winner from a field of six nominees. The winner was honored at the Wisconsin Historical Society's annual awards dinner on June 13, 2003.
The Governor's Archives Award is sponsored by they Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board, a 10-member group that assists Wisconsin institutions in applying for federal grant money for archival work and in improving the appreciation and care of historical records in Wisconsin. Members are appointed by the governor and represent historical records creators, keepers, and users.