Friday, June 14, 2013

279. Some Indy WW2 Sources Questionable

             In light of the World Wars One and Two Army records destruction at the National Personnel Records Center in 1973, I was looking around for some possible additional sources for genealogical information on those two conflicts.
            I can now report on two local locations that I looked into, both of which are of questionable value.
A.        The State Headquarters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, located at Fort Harrison, has very little material of an historical nature. They have a few VFW journals but they only go back to the early 1950's. There are no member cards on site, according to staff members. They do not know what the National HQ might have. There are a few photographs and some memorabilia, but little worth making a fuss over. There evidently is no collecting, indexing or digitization program of any kind. Too bad, because the VFW was founded after the Spanish-American War, and they should have had an extensive historical collection.

B.        The State Headquarters of the American Legion, located in a separate building just west of the National HQ on the Mall downtown, has more of an historical nature, but it is in a rather sad condition. They have some group newspapers, but they are not digitized or indexed. They have a collection of annual reports that go back to the 1920's, but they are not digitized or indexed either. A staff member said that many records and photos had been stored in the basement of the building and had suffered extensive water damage. A large percentage of this material was trashed. A small scale digitization program is underway, but there is no set schedule as to when any of this might appear online or even be available within the building.

            Too bad these two organizations have not had anyone interested in history as part of their group; as a result we have two potentially rich sources down the tubes.

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