Thursday, March 14, 2013

232. New WWII Digital Collection Online

            Evansville, Indiana has long been proud of its war efforts during the late 1930s and early 1940s. The citizens of Evansville profoundly helped the war effort, as did many American cities during World War II.
            The City of Evansville and its businessmen sought out contracts for a variety of war products from airplanes to steel casters. During the war years, the Evansville factories printed newsletters for staff and for the general public.
            The Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library (EVPL) holds several years of newsletters from Servel, Faultless Caster Corp, Republic Aviation, the Evansville Shipyard, Sunbeam Electric, and Hoosier Lamp and Stamping.
            In April, the Library was awarded a 2012 LSTA grant to create the Evansville in WWII Digital Collection. As part of the Evansville in WWII Digital Collection, the Library collaborated with two community partners, a local university and a museum. The University of Southern Indiana owns the William Sonntag Collection which contains 47 war bond posters produced by the US Government Printing Office and distributed around the country. These particular posters were collected from Evansville area shops by the Sonntag Family during the war.
            Upon completing the factory newsletters and the war bond posters, EVPL reached out to the Evansville Museum of Arts, History, and Science. The Curator of History was eager to scan their Evansville Shipyard photograph collection consisting of nearly 10,000 images. The US Navy commissioned a photographer to document the goings on at the Shipyard. The photographer documented staff, laborers, ship building, boat launching ceremonies, and recreational activities.
            The Evansville in WWII Collection is available at EVPL has organized a speaker series including spotlights on Rosie the Riveters, race relations in Evansville, shipbuilding, the WPA, navigating online WWII resources, and information about living in Evansville during the war effort.

Source: Society of Indiana Archivists E-Newsletter, Spring 2013

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