Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Women's Research Resource: Women Veterans

From: http://www.flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/5532511896/
As we remember those who served during World War II and Pearl Harbor Day, consider the following sources in researching military women ancestors.

When researching any ancestor it is vital to learn about the time period and what life was like during that time and under those circumstances.  Military Women Veterans:  Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow includes information on stories of women who have served from Revolutionary War to the present. There is a link for each conflict including World War II.

Experiencing War: Women at War is a project of the Veteran’s History Project. Twelve women’s stories are available on  video and audio to download and listen to. You must have  Real Player to listen and view the films, which is a free download with a link available at the site. These  interviews represent civilian and military women serving during World War II to the Persian Gulf. 

Similarly, the Idaho State Historical Society has a  Women in World War II Veteran’s History Project. There is a  Finding Aid to this collection . This collection includes 48 interviews with women who served or were somehow affected by the war.  Interviews include a Japanese American woman who was interred at Camp Minidoka, a woman who was in the British Royal Air Force, women who were in various branches of the military, and a woman who was part of the underground in the Netherlands.  These stories bring alive the experience of women during this time period and can provide those of us who were not part of this era  with some ideas about what life was like and women’s contributions during this time.

Idaho is not the only state that have or currently capturing the stories of women veterans.  Maine  and  North Carolina have similar projects. A project that chronicles Rhode Island women’s experience is called “What did you do in the War Grandma.

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