Photo attached: The Profiles of Honor team, led by Rusty Nix, traveled from Richmond to Tangier to digitize historic documents and to educate children about WWI and WWII history. The trip was organized by Eastern Shore Public Library.
Tangier residents’ World War I and II service history will now be represented in Virginia’s state archives. The state’s Profiles of Honor scanning team recently spent two days scanning photos, letters, and other documents belonging to Tangier residents and the Tangier History Museum. In addition to scanning, the team brought a traveling war exhibit for public view at the Museum for two days. The project was organized by the Eastern Shore Public Library.
Every student at Tangier Combined School toured the exhibit, walking in class groups to the Museum from the nearby school. All listened attentively while Rusty Nix, Profiles of Honor Communications Manager, reviewed the reason for scanning old documents. Digitizing documents saves an image so that generations from now, the document is viewable, even if it is destroyed or deteriorates beyond readability. Scanning images also prevents further damage as documents will be handled less if they are viewable online or copies are made. Nix also described the artifacts in the exhibit and answered student questions. A popular question was “Why is there netting on the helmet?”
While in Tangier, which happened to be on Halloween, library staff handed out books to trick-or-treaters. Coincidently, the town residents were also hosting a touring group of Wounded Warriors. They were able to enjoy the World Wars traveling exhibit as well as a fishing trip and a grant banquet given by the Town. The trip highlighted the rich history of Tangier residents and their hospitality.
Over 300 Tangier items were scanned and will be publically viewable online by the end of the year. Items scanned in the spring while the team was in Nassawadox and Parksley are available now to view at: https://www.virginiawwiandwwii.org/scanning.
This project and other public history programs are part of the Eastern Shore Public Library’s “History Hub” initiative. The future Eastern Shore of Virginia Heritage Center at the new regional library in Parksley, opening in early 2021, will provide space for storing archives and the equipment for scanning. The public will also enjoy learning about preserving their own family archives.
For more information about the library’s digital history collections, visit www.espl.org. Eastern Shore Public Library is located in Accomac, Virginia and its Eastern Shore Room with local history resources is open to the public. Call (757) 787-3400 for more information.