We’ve chosen to start this week dealing with the more peripheral aspects of our collections and to slowly start working towards our greater collections. It would also be helpful to address why it is important to collect materials about soldiers and the military.
It is easy to forget that wars are fought and experienced by people, by individuals. And while war may be glorified by those not there and by those no longer in that situation, more often than not war is very hard on the people who have to live through it – whether they are actually fighting in it, having it fought around them, or at home waiting to hear about the outcome.
It is our belief that we should and must preserve the words, photographs and artifacts of those who have been through these sorts of experiences, not to glorify them, but to remember and honestly present what was experienced. This serves multiple purposes – most importantly to give a broader context for understanding who they were, what they saw and did, and how that affected them and those at home. This will allow scholars access to the minds of the people, and how they lived, thought and believed.