From the Associated Press:
Executives at the National World War II Museum say creating a vast online collection of 9,000 existing oral and written histories will take longer than the war was fought: 10 years and $11 million dollars. There’s more than 22,000 hours of audio and video to be handled, thousands of documents to be digitized and millions of words transcribed.
Ultimately, all these firsthand accounts of Pearl Harbor, the D-Day invasion, Germany’s surrender, Hiroshima, the homefront and more will be online.
Founded in 2000, the museum is a top New Orleans attraction. The digital collection is open to the world. But only about 250 of its oral histories are online so far. Uploading more will take time, partly because the museum’s six historians also are racing to interview the last veterans alive.
Even people with childhood memories of the war are now in their 70s, noted James Gilmore, archives specialist in oral history at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. He said the Holocaust Museum has about 10,000 oral histories available online. Those also are among more than 66,000 that can be viewed or listened to on site.
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