Vietnam Center & Archive News and Updates
For all the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for us and our freedoms, thank you. Happy Memorial Day from the Vietnam Center and Archive staff.
Today is the start of Tết, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebration and 2011 is the year of the cat. To celebrate this great holiday, we have created an online exhibit that is an exploration of the Tết holiday and its customs, history and traditions supplemented with photos and documents from our collection. If you would like to learn about this unique holiday please click on the link below to see our exhibit.
Forty-three years ago today the North Vietnamese launched a massive countrywide attack against almost all of the major cities and province capitals in South Vietnam, breaking the truce called for the Tết holiday and forever changing the course of the war. This countrywide assault became known as the Tet Offensive. To commemorate this historic event, the staff of the Vietnam Archive have created exhibits detailing the events of the Tet Offensive and three of the offensive’s major battles: Hue – the Imperial City, the Battle of Khe Sanh, and the Battle for Saigon. In addition to the exhibits, there is a new subject guide to help people locate materials about the Tet Offensive in our collection. Links to the exhibits and subject guide are below.
The Tet Offensive
Tet Offensive Subject Guide
The Vietnam Archive has a collection of over 12,000 Marine Corps records covering after-action reports, command chronologies and other documents for most of the Marine units serving in Vietnam. These records,shared with the archive by the Marine Corps History Division, are a valuable resource for anyone researching the Marines in the Vietnam War.
These records have been available in the Virtual Vietnam Archive for many years. However, many of the records were incorrectly labeled or could only be found in the database using specialized terms. After extensive database work, the Vietnam Archive archivists have fixed the errors and removed the specialized jargon terms so that the records are much easier to locate.
In addition to these fixes, the documents themselves are now fully word-searchable. The Vietnam Archive has undertaken a project to convert all of the over 3 million pages of digitized documents in the Virtual Vietnam Archive into word-searchable PDFs, and the conversion of the Marine Corps documents is now complete. Please note that the quality of the word-search capability is dependent on a number of factors, including the quality of the original. The worse the condition of the original scan, the lower the accuracy of the word-search function. To search for words within the PDF’s (in Adobe Reader), simply open the PDF, hold down the Ctrl key and F key and type in your keyword and hit enter. If the word is in the document, you will be taken to the page where the word is located, and the word will be highlighed with color – a great timesaving device.
As PDFs are converted into the word-searchable format, some users may be required to update to newer versions of their PDF readers. Versions of Adobe Reader older than Version 6 will not be able to access the modified PDFs, or PDFs newly added to the Virtual Archive. Adobe Reader can be downloaded free from the Adobe website – http://get.adobe.com/reader/?promoid=BUIGO
If you have not seen the Marine Corps records check out the new and improved version in the Virtual Archive. They are worth a look.
May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), a nationally recognized time to celebrate, acknowledge, and educate on the many achievements and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the United States’ history, culture, and society. May was chosen as APAHM due to two important historical dates and events relating to the contributions of Asian and Pacific Americans to the U.S. taking place in May. First, May 7, 1843 is the date the first Japanese immigrants to the U.S. arrived. Second, May 10, 1869 is when the transcontinental railroad was completed; many Chinese immigrants labored laying the tracks.
The Vietnam Center and Archive celebrates APAHM with our online exhibit featuring materials from our Vietnamese-American Heritage Project Collection, including links to materials and oral history interviews.
Session videos from the 2010 Vietnam Center Conference “Lessons Learned, Lessons Lost: Counterinsurgency from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan” are now available online on the Conference Sessions Videos page and in the Virtual Vietnam Archive.
This conference was held on March 4th-5th at the SAIS Kenney Auditorium in Washington, DC, and was co-hosted by the Vietnam Center and Archive, The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University, and the Center for a New America Security. Sessions included panels on Strategic Policy for Civil-Military Operations in Vietnam; Strategy and Tactics from CMO Operations in Vietnam; the Vietnam Experience; and Counterinsurgency Operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Vietnam Archive has created a new online exhibit called “Let’s Celebrate Tet”. This exhibit is an exploration of the Tet holiday and its customs, history and traditions supplemented with photos and documents from our collection. If you would like to learn about this unique holiday please visit our exhibits page or click on the exhibit title above.
February is Black History Month, and the Vietnam Center and Archive celebrates with our online exhibit highlighting and honoring the contributions and achievements of African-American veterans from the Vietnam War Era. The exhibit will be accessable from our homepage for the month of February, or through our online exhibits page year-round. Please enjoy!
The Vietnam Center and Archive website has a new look. The new version of our website features our new logo (designed by Misty Pollard of Texas Tech University’s Creative Services), colors inspired by the Texas Tech University Identity Guidelines, and numerous images from our archival collections. In an effort to improve usablility of our site, we have added some new pages (such as online exhibits, subject guides, follow the VNCA, and information for researching onsite or online, among others), and reorganized some existing pages and locations. Many of our most popular sections of the site, including the Virtual Archive and the Oral History Project, have the same URLs as before. If you are unable to find the page you are looking for, try our Site Map.
(If you are a regular visitor to our website, the first time you visit the site, pages may look a little odd. If this happens, it is because your browser is attempting to load an old stylesheet. To correct this, hit the reload button in your browser, or hit F5 on your keyboard)
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at any time.
November is Aviation Month! To celebrate this occasion we have created a new exhibit that explores the duties and lives of the Dustoff crews. This exhibit is available online and is accessable from this blog post or the home page.