May 27, 2022

Iron Mountain Supports Digitization Project with Ohio University’s Alden Library to Preserve Cornelius Ryan’s Longest Day Collection

From Iron Mountain:

Iron Mountain today announced the start of a three-part digitization project of documents from world-renowned war correspondent Cornelius Ryan. The project, provided as a gift-in-kind service in support of Ohio University’s Vernon R. Alden Library, will begin with the D-Day Collection of Ryan’s records containing first-hand accounts and recollections of both military and civilian participants of the battle from across the world.

June 6, 2019 marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the 1944 invasion of Normandy. Cornelius Ryan, a World War II war correspondent and best-selling author, solicited first-hand accounts of civilians and military personnel from the United States, Great Britain, France and Germany, for use in his best-selling books, like “The Longest Day.” In 1981, Ryan’s collection of primary source materials, a sought-after resource worldwide, was donated to Ohio University Libraries.

Now, through this gift from Iron Mountain’s Living Legacy Initiative – the company’s commitment to preserve and make accessible cultural and historical information – over 1,100 items that make up 4,900 pages of Ryan’s collection related to D-Day will be digitized, including many of those first-hand eyewitness accounts like this one from Private First Class Richard Cator of the 101st Airborne Division:

Through the digitization services from Iron Mountain, Cornelius Ryan’s unique collection of extensive interviews (like Cator’s) is now available, as along with letters, diaries, and observations, sharing various accounts of D-Day as told through the eyes of soldiers, civilians, and political figures.

Ohio University’s Alden Library currently holds the entire Cornelius Ryan Collection, providing a lens into the life of the renowned journalist who documented various events throughout World War II. Ryan is best-known for three books on specific battles from the war; “A Bridge Too Far,” “The Last Battle,” and “The Longest Day,” which provide some of the most accurate accounts of that period of history, all of which were later made into movies.


Digitization of Cornelius Ryan’s D-Day collection will allow Ohio University to make the documents available to other higher education institutions, scholarly researchers from around the world, historians interested in a battle or military unit, students and professors using them in the classroom, family members of those represented in the materials, and the general public seeking to learn more about the famous battle and those involved.


“Patrons are really excited that they can request more material and that they will be publicly available—it has just been really great to see,” said Stacey Lavender, special collections librarian and curator of the Ryan Collection. “The Iron Mountain Living Legacy Initiative, and the commitment to digitize 4,900 pages of Ohio University Libraries’ Ryan Collection, is a much-welcomed gift-in-kind for all scholars of World War II history.”

Direct to Cornelius Ryan Collection of World War II Papers

Direct to Ryan Collection Finding Aid

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.