VETERANS AND MILITARY FAMILIES WITH STORIES TO TELL The University of Miami in co
The search for South Florida soldiers and their family members was actively underway by StoryCorps, Warmamas, and the University of Miami Libraries (UML). The three organizations collaborated on StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative, a project that honors veterans and the military community by recording and preserving their stories. Approximately eighteen interviews were conducted March 11, 12, and 13 at the Otto G. Richter Library on UM’s Coral Gables campus.
StoryCorps interviews are conducted as a conversation between two people, while a trained StoryCorps facilitator guides the 40-minute recording session. With the participants’ permission, the recordings of these interviews will be archived at the Library of Congress and segments of select interviews may also air nationally on NPR’s Morning Edition. “We are a people defined by small acts of courage, kindness and heroism,” says StoryCorps founder David Isay. The Military Voices Initiative builds on this notion and contributes to StoryCorps’ diverse collection by recording and preserving the stories of veterans and military families. It is an opportunity for them to share their experiences in their own words. The archive of recorded oral histories will also be preserved at UML’s Special Collections, located at the Otto G. Richter Library. Open to the public, Special Collections houses a vast repository for researchers on a wide range of topics, with a particular emphasis on South Florida and the Caribbean. “As a community archive, Special Collections actively documents history by collecting materials, from photographs to personal letters to video recordings, that will remain here permanently and ultimately serve to inform, enlighten, and even inspire future generations,” says Chuck Eckman, Dean of University of Miami Libraries. StoryCorps previously partnered with UML on Historias, an initiative to record the diverse stories and life experiences of Latinos in the United States. UML’s Cuban Heritage Collection served as a community partner for Historias interviews conducted locally in 2009. Additional UML oral history projects include the Haitian Diaspora Oral History Collections at Special Collections and multiple oral history projects focusing on Cuban diaspora and Cuban American communities at the Cuban Heritage Collection. Access to oral history collections is available from UML’s website. About StoryCorps As a national nonprofit, StoryCorps’ mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, preserve, and share their stories. Each week, millions of Americans listen to StoryCorps’ award-winning broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition. For more information, visit storycorps.org, follow on Twitter @storycorps, or find on Facebook at facebook.com/storycorps.
About Warmamas Warmamas is a nonprofit organization created for a special group of mothers. They are the mothers of soldiers who serve - or have served - in our military in a time of war. Warmamas provides the mothers of these soldiers a public platform through which each one can tell her own story, each narrative as unique as it is universal and an essential part of our country’s ongoing history. Warmamas was created in Coral Gables, Florida, by a small group of women and mothers concerned that these stories might be lost in time and needed to be preserved. They understood the power of a mother’s story and that the multiplicity of mothers’ voices could raise public awareness as to the sacrifices made by soldiers’ families every day. These voices contribute to a deeper understanding of the complexities and effects of war on our society as a whole. For more information, visit Warmamas.com. About the University of Miami Libraries The University of Miami Libraries (www.library.miami.edu) ranks among the top 50 research libraries in North America, drawing scholars from around the world through its important collection of 3.5 million volumes (656,893 of which are electronic books) and 92,958 current serials (including 90,550 electronic journals), unique and distinctive collections, state-of-the-art digitization and preservation facilities, and a staff of experienced professionals. The Otto G. Richter Library lies in the heart of the Coral Gables campus and serves as the central interdisciplinary library for the University. The University of Miami Libraries also includes four subject specialty libraries: the Paul Buisson Architecture Library, the Judi Prokop Newman Information Resource Center, the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Library, and the Marta & Austin Weeks Music Library.