Why do you require original materials vs. copies?

The Veterans History Project is an archival repository which aims to both collect and preserve documentation of individual U.S. military veterans for posterity, as well as serve as a research facility for those interested in primary sources concerning U.S. military history. As such, we require that original items, and not photocopies or digital scans, be submitted to us.

This ensures that a veteran’s original material, including letters, diaries, photographs, military papers and creative works, are preserved for future generations to learn from and appreciate. We recognize the sentimental value of your personal items, and keep them secured in the Library of Congress’s climate-controlled storage facilities where preservation and conservation experts oversee their care.

Primary source materials are one of the Library's greatest assets. Thousands of researchers visit the Library each year to inspect original items in our collections, and digital surrogates or photocopies do not take their place.

Last Updated: Jun 09, 2022
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Please Note

We cannot provide service records for veterans (contact the National Archives); advice on veteran benefits (contact the Department of Veterans Affairs).

For general information on military history, contact our general reference librarians.

Additional Ways to Contact Us

Send written correspondence to:

Veterans History Project
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20540