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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project (WVHP), established at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) in 1998, documents the contributions of women in the military and related service organizations since World War I. The WVHP includes a wide range of source material including photographs, letters, diaries, scrapbooks, oral histories, military patches and insignia, uniforms, and posters, as well as published works. Through active acquisition and educational outreach, the WVHP continues to expand its research collection to explore the cultural, social, and military changes in American society that have been fueled by the gender integration of the armed forces.

The WVHP’s strengths are oral histories and materials from veterans of World War II, but it also includes the stories and materials of women who served in World War I, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, The Cold War, Desert Storm, the Gulf Wars, and the War on Terror. The WVHP currently holds more than 550 collections which include 350 oral histories. The collections chiefly document women military veterans, but they also chronicle the contributions of workers in related service organizations such as the Red Cross, special services, and civilians in service. Our current focus is collecting oral histories of UNCG student veterans as well as women in the Greensboro area.

Mission Statement

The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project (WVHP) collects and preserves unique and rare historical materials documenting the female experience in the United States military and American Red Cross. The WVHP promotes the educational and research use of these materials by members of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the broader scholarly community, and the public.

History of the Project

Although World War II was the first time that women served in the Armed Forces in large numbers, there were some women who served in World War I. Dr. Anna Maria Gove, college physician and professor of hygiene at the State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG) from 1893-1937, served in France in 1917-1918. Her collection includes maps, newspapers and mementos of her service in the Red Cross, as well as photographs taken in France during the war. Her WWI uniforms are included in the University Archives Textile Collection. The idea for beginning the Women Veterans Historical Collection grew out of talks with Woman's College (now UNCG) alumnae of the Class of 1950. The women veterans of World War II had a great impact on their classmates at the Woman's College, as well as on their military organizations, their families and friends.

In 1992, during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the U.S. Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) several veterans sent uniforms and other memorabilia to the Alumni Association. Those items, which were used in an exhibit, were transferred to the University Archives in 1997, and form the nucleus of the Women Veterans Historical Collection. Since that time, items have been donated from other WAVES and United States Navy veterans; WAACs (Women's Army Auxiliary Corps), WACs (Women's Army Corps) and United States Army veterans; SPARS (Coast Guard Women's Reserve-from the motto “Semper Paratus”-Always Ready); WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots), Women's Air Force and Army Air Force veterans; Women Marines; Army Nurses, Navy Nurses, and Army Dietitians and Physical Therapists; members of the American Red Cross; and even civilians in service. Additional items have been purchased by University Archives.

About the Digital Project

In 2002, UNCG recieved an NC ECHO Digitization Grant to make signficant portions of the WVHP available online. This grant was supported with federal LSTA funds made possible through the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. In 2006, the University Libraries at UNCG undertook an effort to revamp the site, adding search and browse functionality, contributing additional content, and imposing further technical and descriptive standards.

To learn more about our digital imaging specifications, transcription process and manual, digital audio archiving procedures, or metadata application, please contact us. UNCG adheres to best practices as specified in the NC ECHO Guidelines for Digitization.