Vietnam Center & Archive News and Updates
As part of the ongoing 20th Anniversary celebration of the Vietnam Center and Archive, a photograph and artifact exhibit entitled “A Day in the Life of an American Soldier in Vietnam” is currently on display until mid December of this year. Please visit the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Building on the Texas Tech University campus to experience elements of a typical day in the life of a US soldier during the Vietnam War. Consisting of over 25 black and white photographs and a selected number of artifacts, this exhibit will provide the visitor with stimulating and descriptive highlights of our highly unique collection materials. The exhibit is self guided and open to the public, free of charge, Monday through Friday from 8:00am until 5:00pm. All of the staff at the Vietnam Center and Archive hope that you will join us in celebrating 20 years of success by stopping by to view this exhibit!
Jake Bitonel, a student assistant at the Vietnam Center and Archive since 2007, attended the United States Army ROTC Command’s Leadership Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) at Fort Lewis, Washington from June 25 – July 23, 2009. The ROTC Command uses the program to evaluate the leadership skills learned by its cadets. Every ROTC cadet goes through this 28 day program consisting of PT tests, garrison positions, weapons familiarization, and war games after his or her junior year. We are proud to announce that Jake finished among the top of his LDAC Regiment. The Vietnam Center and Archive congratulates Jake on the fine achievement. You can learn more about Jake by reading his profile in the September 2009 issue of Study Breaks.
Besides writing blogs, I catalog books. Right now, I’m working on the David Willson gift collection. He has donated almost 1,800 books to the Archive, mostly on the Vietnam War in popular culture. Much of this collection consists of literature: poetry, plays, short stories, fiction, and essays. Some are written by the veterans of the war, both combatants and noncombatants: soldiers, nurses, reporters, refugees, spouses, protesters, etc. Taken individually, something such as the poem about a handler’s dog or a graphic novel about veterans trying to make sense of life after the war can be quite moving. As a whole, this collection is a powerful entity with its own voice and something to say about who we were then, who we are today, and sometimes even who we and society might become in the far distant future.
I just can’t say enough about how much I appreciate our donors! So much of the library’s collection has been donated. You can search our library by donor or collection name through the Texas Tech University Library’s online catalog. Using Basic Search, go down to “Field to search” and select “Donor.” Then enter the name such as “David Willson,” “Douglas Pike,” or “Frank Evans” for the USS Frank Evans Association. It’s best to use the full name or give as much information as possible as we have many donors and also share the catalog with other libraries.
Again, your comments, input, questions and suggestions are always welcome.
Aaron first became interested in fiction and nonfiction about the Vietnam War from taking a writing course taught by National Book Award-winning author Larry Heinemann at Texas A&M.; This interest led Aaron to the Vietnam Archive when he arrived at Texas Tech where he has been a tremendous asset. Sadly for the Vietnam Archive, Aaron will become a Teaching Assistant in the English department at Texas Tech when he begins his PhD program in the Fall and will no longer be at the archive. We will definitely miss him, but wish him the best for the future.
Did you know that the Vietnam Archive also has a library? The library’s purpose is to support the research mission of the archive by providing books, journals, and other print resources on Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Southeast Asia, and especially the role that the United States played in the Vietnam War. We have fiction and nonfiction, children’s books, coffee table books, theses and dissertations, Bibles, and even comic books. There are books on agriculture, archaeology, music, pirates, prostitution, radicalism, theology, and zoology, and so much more. Of course, the library has all this, in addition to the stuff you were imagining that we have such as history books, magazines, personal narratives, atlases, and reference materials.
Ideally, if a book is within the scope of our collection, we hope to have not just one, but up to three copies of it, preserving these copies for researchers and the future. We receive the majority of our collection through donations to the archive, but we also have a budget for purchasing books, serials, microforms, dissertations, and theses. You can view our holdings through the Texas Tech University Library’s online catalog. Select “Advanced Search,” go down to “Limit search (Optional),” and under “Location,” choose “Southwest Coll./Special Coll.” before entering your search query.
Your comments, input, questions and suggestions are always welcome.