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Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project: Facts and History

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Jul 2015 04:29 PM

The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project (WVHP) documents the role of women in U.S. military service since World War I through a growing research collection of oral histories, personal papers, uniforms, photographs, recruitment posters and other artifacts spanning all branches of service.

Established in 1998, the Women Veterans Historical Project is housed at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). The project is named for a campus archivist, Betty H. Carter, who launched it out of the UNCG library and initially promoted it through an annual luncheon for women veterans, according to a brief WVHP history published in North Carolina Libraries magazine in 2009.

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From there, WHVP has continued to expand to "explore the cultural, social, and military changes in American society that have been fueled by the gender integration of the armed forces," according to a statement of purpose on the project's website.

The project holds 520 individual collections including 323 oral history interviews — most from women veterans living in North Carolina, the project curator, Beth Ann Koelsch, told the Greensboro News & Record in January 2015.

The collections encompass all of the branches and service organizations open to women before and since military gender integration. Veterans of forerunner organizations such as the Women's Army Corps (WAC) and the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) on through to female veterans of the post-9/11 conflicts are represented.

The collection has been accessed by academic scholars and university instructors of subjects including history, mass communications, gender studies and library sciences. Its materials are also the basis of touring exhibitions and Veterans Day commemorations, and have been sought out for use in theatrical, literary, television and museum projects, according to Koelsch.

"The Project has a strong digital component and puts the oral history transcriptions and other digitized materials online," says a profile by the North Carolina Library Association.

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WVHP also displays many of its high-resolution images — including many wartime photographs and posters — on the social media website Pinterest.

"While the contributions of women have generally been overlooked in histories of the military, The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project is making significant strides toward ensuring that the brave and dedicated women of the Armed Forces are included," Koelsch wrote in North Carolina Libraries magazine in 2010.

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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project (WVHP) documents the role of women in U.S. military service since World War I through a growing research collection of oral histories, personal papers, uniforms, photographs, recruitment posters and other artifacts.
women veterans, Betty H. Carter project
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2015-29-08
Wednesday, 08 Jul 2015 04:29 PM
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