Vietnam Center & Archive News and Updates
The Vietnam Center and Archive is being featured in the library showcase of the ilovelibraries.org website. Ilovelibraries, an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA), includes an article in their November issue by VNCA Associate Director/Archivist Mary Saffell titled An Archival Memorial: Documenting the War in Vietnam. This extensive piece includes an overview of the Center and Archive and our history, some of the unique collections held by the Archive, and ways for people to keep up with news about the VNCA. The complete article can be read online at ilovelibraries.org.
The ALA was started in 1853 with the mission to promote library service and librarianship and currently has over 66,000 members. The ilovelibraries.org site was launched in 2007 to “keep America informed about what’s happening in today’s libraries, focusing on public, school, corporate and institutional settings.”
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.
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.