The Virginia WWI and WWII Profiles of Honor Scanning Project will be in Roanoke County on Saturday, July 20 from 10am to 4:30pm at the South County Library. The project, which documents Virginia’s integral role in world history, is part of a statewide commemoration marking the 100th anniversary of World War I and the 75th anniversary of World War II and has toured Virginia since the end of 2016, digitizing documents related to the history of both wars.
The scanning project, a partnership between the Virginia World War I and World War II Commemoration Commission and the Library of Virginia, digitizes documents to be archived in an ever-growing collection of original World War I and World War II-related photographs, images, letters, and other documents contributed from around the state.
Visitors are invited to bring their own documents to be digitally archived and made publicly accessible online. Items range from single letters, diaries, and photographs to substantial collections of correspondence between soldiers and families at home.
These first-hand accounts, some in fragile or deteriorating condition, are carefully guarded treasures that many families are reluctant to relinquish. The Profiles of Honor Scanning Project enables contributors to preserve and share the intellectual and historical content of these valuable documents and still keep their original collections.
The project began as a component of the Profiles of Honor Tour, a mobile exhibition featuring the stories of Virginians who served in World War I and World War II, along with artifacts relating to both wars. As the mobile exhibition comes to a close in 2019, the scanning project will continue to tour the state independently through the end of the anniversary commemoration in 2020.
Since its beginning, the scanning project has collected over 5,000 scans, a selection of which are available on the Commission’s website, and all of which are being archived and will be permanently accessible online through the Library of Virginia.
This undertaking of the Commission “honors the Virginians who fought for our freedom and helps to ensure that their legacy remains for new generations as World War I and World War II slip further out of public memory,” said Virginia House of Delegates Speaker M. Kirkland Cox, who serves as the Chairman of the
Virginia World War I and World War II Commemoration Commission. “Both wars were fought not only overseas, but from the shipyards, factories, military bases, and homes of Virginians.” The Profiles of Honor Scanning Project collects and preserves this part of Virginia’s history for generations to come.