WWII MEM­O­RIES SAVED IN DATA­BASE

The Denver Post - - NEWS -

new or­leans» It’s D-Days — that is, dig­i­tal days — at the Na­tional World War II Mu­seum, with his­to­ri­ans seek­ing to storm the in­ter­net and move thou­sands of first-per­son ac­counts of the fight­ing on­line.

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.

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.

“It’s a fine bal­ance. We have a sense of ur­gency to col­lect as many sto­ries as we can ... But we also know it’s ex­tremely im­por­tant mov­ing for­ward to pro­vide ac­cess” on­line, said Stephen Wat­son, the mu­seum’s ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent. The As­so­ci­ated Press

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