WSU’s Stewart Library Seeks WWII Stories from Northern Utah

OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University’s Stewart Library Special Collections staff is asking for community help with a new oral history project to document the stories of WWII veterans from Northern Utah as well as those who were left behind to serve on the homefront.

Community members are invited to share their photographs and other memorabilia at a special scanning event Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Special Collections staff will be at the Ogden Eccles Conference Center (2415 Washington Blvd., Ogden) to scan photographs, share information about the project and offer tips for safely preserving family treasures.

While this scanning event will kickoff the project, interviews and research will continue for several months.

“This project will take us about 18 months to complete,” said Sarah Singh, associate curator of Special Collections. “We are very excited about it, but we also think it is an incredibly important project, so we really want to take our time and gather as many stories as possible.”

During World War II, tens of thousands of Utahns served in the armed forces, new military installations were built and old ones expanded, and millions of soldiers poured through the Ogden Union Station. Women also flooded the workforce, eager to do their part for the war effort. These are the everyday stories that Special Collections staff hope to capture.

“There was so much going on in this area at that time,” Singh said. “It’s an essential part of our community’s history we hope to preserve.”

In order to best capture the complex story, Special Collections will work with several community partners, including the Ogden Union Station, Hill Aerospace Museum, local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) chapters and others.

“This is the largest oral history project we’ve done in Special Collections,” said Lorrie Rands, WSU oral history coordinator. “Combining our efforts with these groups should make this something for which the community can really be proud.”

The project also will include a lecture series and a special exhibit in the spring of 2018. For more information about oral history interviews, call 801-626-6337.

Contact:

Sarah Singh, associate curator of Special Collections
801-626-6337 • ssingh@weber.edu

Lorrie Rands, oral history coordinator
801-626-6728 • lorrierands@weber.edu

Author:

Melissa Johnson, Special Collections coordinator
801-626-7235 • melissajohnson1@weber.edu