Located in Superior, Wisconsin, the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical facility preserves and honors the storage of major Richard I. (Dick) Bong and all veterans of civilization War II and subsequent conflicts, and also provides educational sources for the pair Ports area community and beyond. A native of Poplar, Wisconsin, significant Bong was recognized as America’s “Ace the Aces” because that flying his P-38 Lightning through an ext than 200 objectives over the Southwest Pacific during world War II and destroying 40 foe planes. Bong survived world War II but, sadly, shed his life trial and error a jet airplane in respectable 1945.

The Richard I. Bong people War II Historical facility (BVHC) opened to the public on September 24, 2002, top top what would have been cock Bong’s 82nd birthday. The BVHC maintains a exceptional collection of historic records and also artifacts that record Wisconsin veterans and their military service including business records, uniforms and also insignia, oral history interviews, photographs and scrapbooks, and wartime artefacts including a restored P-38 Lightning!

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Briana Fiandt, has been one integral part of the BVHC for plenty of years, serving together the gift shop manager indigenous 2005-2007 if completing she master’s degree in library science. After location at UW flow Falls and Santa Fe, brand-new Mexico neighborhood College, Fiandt went back to Superior and the BVHC in 2014 together the curator the collections. Currently, Fiandt serves on the Recollection Wisconsin Steering Committee and also Education Advisory Group. In 2019, she also participated in Recollection Wisconsin’s Curating community Digital Collections as a host site supervisor.

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Digital tasks at the BVHC

Over the past decade, BVHC has been actively digitizing item from your collections, frequently to to fill patron reference requests or use within a museum exhibit. Your staff likewise works closely with donors who space interested in temporarily loaning their photos or scrapbooks because that digitization. This digital papers are then had in the BVHC collection while the originals are returned to the donor. A mix that staff, trained volunteers and also student interns support digitization occupational at the BVHC.

In 2019, the BVHC participated in Curating ar Digital Collections as a organize site. This project readily available an possibility to assess and also improve their digitization efforts. Throughout the summer, a graduate student intern evaluated their existing workflows and created a bevy of brand-new training materials and also documentation following digital preservation best practices consisting of processes because that storing and also backing up digital files.

Prior come our participation in CCDC, digital occupational was happening but not in a consistent manner. Producing a digital preservation policy was an essential to setup us on a more sustainable path.

Briana Fiandt

The work completed through CCDC was vital and welcome opportunity to development their program. BVHC volunteers now follow more detailed workflows for scanning and also cataloging their products in PastPerfect. These workflows space publicly accessible on the Recollection Wisconsin website as part of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical facility Digital preservation Policy.

Community support and also resources for digital work

Like many local background organizations, Fiandt looks for guidance and tools from other Minnesota- and also Wisconsin-based organizations associated in digital work. She has actually been utilizing Recollection Wisconsin’s digital jobs resources for countless years, long before she participated in any kind of Recollection Wisconsin-related initiatives and recommends Metadata Essentials, component of Recollection Wisconsin’s Digital projects Toolkit, as a source for training student interns ~ above scanning and also metadata creation.

A new content administration system

Recently, the BVHC determined to migrate their digitized content out that PastPerfect and into collective Access, a free, open-source content monitoring system for cataloging and sharing museum and archival collections.Concerns around ongoing sustainability and also support indigenous PastPerfect motivated this change. A team of Minnesota-based local history organizations formed an affiliation of Collective access users. The BVHC is working with this community of practice for assistance migrating your content and ongoing support. That is a priority for BVHC to share their arsenal online and also broaden their reach.

Oral histories and also Listening to War

The BVHC is one of many Wisconsin local background organizations whose wartime oral backgrounds are consisted of Listening to War: Wisconsin’s Wartime dental Histories, a national Endowment for the liberal arts (NEH)-funded job which brings with each other first-person accounts of veterans and also civilians in Wisconsin during world War I, civilization War II, the oriental War, the Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War.

Fiandt helped to recognize 128 dental histories added by the BVHC. With minimal descriptive information, the was difficult to discern which oral backgrounds were Wisconsin veteran’s stories. Many of the BVHC interviews record the WWII-era, both home front and combat experiences, however there are likewise stories indigenous soldiers who served in Korea, Vietnam, and also Iraq. This oral history interviews space a mix of video clip and audio document formats and, as a collection advance strategy, there room pros and also cons to producing either. When a video story may be more engaging, the papers tend to it is in larger and also require much more server space. Part veterans are more comfortable sharing your experiences off camera, for this reason an audio-only option may be preferable.

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Fiandt and the BVHC space thrilled that these veterans’ stories currently publicly accessible and the they tell regional people’s stories.

Without digitizing and also sharing these products online, world would never hear these very an individual stories from their own ar members and around their own neighborhood history.

Briana Fiandt

Fiandt wishes that once more people discover the hear to battle project, they may think around sharing their very own veteran’s or wartime story with the BVHC, or their local historical organization. The project offers an possibility to reach new donors, by demonstrating exactly how the publicly might communicate with your story top top Recollection Wisconsin. They are additionally working very closely with Minnesota’s digital library, Minnesota Reflections, to digitize and also share Minnesota veteran’s stories held by the BVHC.

Content warning statements

It’s necessary to prepare patrons for perceptible or harmful topics and also language they might encounter by accessing a collection or viewing an exhibit, especially war-related material. The BVHC indexes your oral background interviews for this reason they are far better able to anticipate harmful content and will note any type of language involves or too much acts the violence on their indexing form. They encompass a disclaimer or language top top the website or as component of the metadata to prepare users for the content:

This contains language that is offensive and also is presented as it exists in the original documents. The materials reflect the paper definition in i m sorry they were created but do not represent the views of the Richard I. Bong Veterans historic Center.

BVHC content statement language

The BVHC worked carefully with the Minnesota Historical society and theirDepartment the Inclusion and also Community Engagement to craft the contents statement layout language. They debated the prestige of directness in the statement and avoiding language that is permissive or dismissive that the language or content in question. Those space two guideposts they supplied in placing together the basic template.Tip: For more information around harmful content and also crafting content statements, visit content Statements.

I wish i had concentrated on making a few small transforms early on for example, adopting consistent record names, to do incremental improvements in our workflow. I had an “all or nothing” perspective that wasn’t a realistic goal.

Briana FiandtA few lessons learned…Legacy projects have the right to be a challenge. After evaluating the steps vital to “fix” several of their previous work, Fiandt determined to live v some less-than-ideal materials of their heritage digitization projects and that a much better use that time and also resources would certainly be to focus on present and new projects and also adopting the guidelines and also best practices emerged as component of their brand-new digital conservation policy.It’s more than simply a policy! Information consisted of in a digital conservation policy provides a an excellent jumping off point for conversations around digital work with various stakeholders. Fiandt to be pleased to use their digital preservation policy as one advocacy tool. Sharing this work and also documentation with the BVHC Board assisted their organization’s leadership recognize the require for and approve purchasing new scanner and also other digitization equipment.Working through veterans. If you space interviewing a veteran, constantly have a conversation through your interviewee before ever turning on the recorder. Ask them what elements of their company they room comfortable share (or not), specifically combat experience. Never ever push one uncomfortable topic. The is ok if one interviewee becomes emotional. For numerous veterans, telling their story have the right to be a lengthy overdue healing experience. Finally, take into consideration having staff or volunteers who are veterans interview veterans. Sometimes it is much easier for them to share their stories with another veteran.
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What’s next?Fiandt hopes to engage new audiences through Listening to War and also pro-actively collect more stories indigenous WWII and Korean battle veterans. She would certainly love to take their display on the roadway – mobile oral history collecting — and also visit various other Wisconsin neighborhoods to collect stories. There is no question, COVID-19 has actually rendered oral history collection development work a challenge. In the past, Fiandt and her employee would have actually coordinated interviewing tasks at local nursing residences or other care facilities. BVHC does have actually an oral history in a backpack – a circulating oral history kit – and also Fiandt hopes to companion with their regional library to promote this resource. And also keep one eye the end for digitized materials that record Richard I. Bong’s life and military career.

I’m particularly excited come digitize and publicly re-publishing the Richard Bong collection. We have quite a couple of researchers and also historians interested in his story – across the country and also the world!

Briana Fiandt

Our sincere thanks to Briana Fiandt and also the Bong Veterans Historical facility for sharing their experience with our digital readiness community of practice.

Just the highlights? Download the Center’sDigital Readiness case Study in Brief(PDF).

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This job-related is funded v an Archives Collaboratives Implementation approve from the National historical Publications and Records board of directors (NHPRC), the giving arm the the national Archives. VisitDigital Readiness neighborhood of Practicefor an ext information.

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Tagged case study, digital readiness, Richard I. Bong Veterans historic Center, Superior