QUINCY, Ill. (PRESS RELEASE) -- Quincy University was recently recognized as a Founding Partner of the Veterans History Project (VHP) of the American Folklife Center at the Library Congress for its contribution to the national collection through the Quincy Veterans History Project. The national collection, created by the United States Congress in 2000, features over 68,000 personal oral histories of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. The interviews recorded in Quincy are now included in the collection, which is housed at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. in addition to QU's Brenner Library, Quincy Public Library, and the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy library.
The Quincy Veterans History Project was launched in September 2006 as a collaborative effort between the Illinois Veterans Home and Quincy University to collect stories of local veterans who served in U.S. military conflicts. Founding coordinators Linda Schmitt, certified activity professional for the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, and John Schleppenbach, Ph.D., professor of communication at Quincy University, organized a collection team including representatives from the Illinois Veterans Home, University faculty and students, WGEM-TV, and local volunteers. To date, more than 50 Quincy-area veterans have been interviewed. The project is currently coordinated by Byron Holdiman, director of the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program at Quincy University.
"With over 1,500 veterans dying each day, this project is so important to capture the experiences of our veterans – experiences that never tell the full story within any written book. Each veteran's story is so important and we miss out on too many stories when we do not get their interview," said Holdiman, who has previously worked with the VHP and is currently assisting the Illinois World War II Virtual Monument project.
The program continues to expand. Interviews are conducted by QU students, local high school students, and community members. Twenty-one of the 50 interviews are currently available online at www.qutps.org/QVHP.html.
Members of the Quincy Veterans History Project include Lynn Fleming, librarian at Illinois Veterans Home, Steve Parke and Fr. Philibert Hoebing, OFM, QU faculty members, and Jim Lawrence and Shawn Dickermann, from WGEM-TV. Former QU faculty members Kyle Day, Ph.D. and Dwain Preston, Ph.D., and retired Quincy High School faculty member Patrick McGinley, Ph.D., also have contributed to the effort. Parke is currently supervising students who are conducting additional interviews and preparing archival videotapes.
Founded in 1860 by Franciscan friars, Quincy University (www.quincy.edu) is a Catholic, co-educational, residential university offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult education programs that integrate liberal arts, active learning, practical experience, and Franciscan values. Quincy University's intercollegiate sports are members of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference for men and women. For more information, please contact the Quincy University office of communications by calling (217) 228-5275.