Vietnam Center & Archive News and Updates

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vietnam Center and Archive Receives Three Year Grant to Digitize FVPPA Files

The Vietnam Center and Archive has received a three year, $144,000 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to digitize the Orderly Departure Program (ODP) files of the Families of Vietnamese Political Prisoners Association Collection (FVPPA).  This collection of approximately 250,000 pages is comprised of the records of more than 10,000 Vietnamese applying to immigrate to the United States following the end of the Vietnam War.  Many of the applicants were former re-education camp detainees.

The FVPPA collection, brought to the Archive in 2005 by the Vietnamese American Heritage Foundation, is one of the largest and most significant collections available to researchers studying the Vietnamese American immigration experience.  The ODP files, according to Associate Director Mary Saffell are  “as important to the study of Vietnamese Americans as the Ellis Island records are to the families of immigrants from the early 20th century.”

It is expected that digitization, which will begin in February, will take three years to complete.  As the items are digitized, they will be added to the Virtual Vietnam Archive.  You can also follow the progress of the project and see recently digitized files from the collection at

This is the second grant the Center has received from the NHPRC for this collection, including funding received in 2008 to originally process the collection.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Latest Issue of the Friends of the Vietnam Center Newsletter Available Online

The Fall 2011 issue of the Friends of the Vietnam Center Newsletter is now available online.  This issue contains an article on the ten year anniversary of the Virtual Vietnam Archive and an overview of the Center and Archive’s scheduled events for 2012.

If you would like to receive a full color printed version of this newsletter in your mailbox, please consider becoming a friend of the Vietnam Center. Membership information can be found on our Friends of the Vietnam Center webpage.


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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas in Vietnam

The Vietnam Center and Archive would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and to have a safe and happy holiday season and a wonderful new year!

Donald L. Swafford Collection, undated (vas002449)

The Center and Archive will be closed from December 24th-January 1st.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving in Vietnam

Lai Khe, Vietnam. C Co, 701st Maint company area, Thanksgiving Dinner - November 1968, Philip Varsel Collection (vas047786)

The Vietnam Center and Archive would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Vietnam Center and Archive Featured Again on Local PBS Series

The Lubbock PBS station, KTXT, has produced a third show in their Keeping it Local series focused on the Vietnam Center and Archive, this time featuring information about the potential new building that would house the Center and Archive, as well as a new museum.  The show can be viewed online on KTXT’s YouTube channel [], or by clicking the play icon below.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day 2011

The staff of the Vietnam Center and Archive would like to take a moment to say Thank You to all veterans, their families, friends, and loved ones for their service.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Reminder: Dave Carey Lecture This Thursday

Mr. Dave Carey, retired Naval Pilot and Vietnam War POW, will speak this week as part of our 2011 Guest Lecture Series.  Mr. Carey’s lecture will be held on November 10th at 7:00pm in the Allen Theatre of the Texas Tech Student Union Building. Admission is free and open to the public.

The mission of the Vietnam Center and Archive Guest Lecture Series is to enrich the intellectual and cultural life of students, faculty, and the community at large by bringing distinguished individuals to campus for presentations on specific aspects of the Vietnam War, its lasting impact on American politics, society and culture, and on contemporary issues in Southeast Asia.

This lecture series is funded in part by a generous grant from the Helen Jones Foundation.  For more information on the 2011 VNCA Guest Lecture Series or about Dave Carey see

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

500,000 Items in the Virtual Vietnam Archive

The first item added to the Virtual Vietnam Archive in 2001, a photograph from the Douglas Pike Collection of a factory under construction in the Bien Hoa Industrial complex northeast of Saigon

The Virtual Vietnam Archive has celebrated a number of milestones this fall, including the addition of our 500,000 item this week.  The Virtual Archive became available to researchers ten years ago this month with just a few thousand items, mostly photographs and documents.  Now the online archive contains over 3.3 million pages of material, including 330,000 documents, 130,000 images, 900 oral history interviews, and thousands of moving images, audio recordings, maps, and more.  In that ten year period, the Virtual Archive has been searched over 10,000,000 times and more than 3 million items have been downloaded.  The 500,000 item, a newspaper article titled “Faint Hope for US Airmen Still Missing in Indochina” from the Garnett Bell Collection, was digitized by student assistant Brooke Boysaw.

Reaching half-a-million items in our digital collections is a great accomplishment for our project that couldn’t have been completed without the over 100 full time staff and part time student employees who have worked on this project since 2001.  Without all of their great contributions, this project would not be the success it has been.

The Virtual Vietnam Archive project continues to digitize new materials, adding about 15,000 new pages each month from a variety of collections, including still images, individual donor’s collections, the CDEC Collection and, starting this month, the Cong Bao.  We look forward to continuing this project for years to come.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Happy Birthday U.S. Navy!

Today is the Navy’s 236th birthday!  The Vietnam Center and Archive staff want to wish the Navy and all of its personnel past and present a very happy birthday.  To comemorate this day, we have created a small exhibit of Navy items.  You can view the exhibit by clicking on the link below.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Today is National POW/MIA Recognition Day

The third Friday in September is National POW/MIA Recognition Day.  Please take a moment today to remember those who are still missing from the Vietnam War and all other wars.

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