The Veteran's History Collection is comprised of primary sources including oral histories, memoirs, autobiographies, interviews, letters, diaries, photographs, and other first-hand accounts by veterans found in Special Collections in the Harold B. Lee Library. Major conflicts represented include the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Cold War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
The Saints at War Project includes written and oral histories (with some select artifacts) of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) who served in the military during the 20th century. This includes those who served in World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War and all other military campaigns of the last century. Collected materials include: personal histories, journals, correspondence, period photographs, small artifacts and first-hand accounts of war experiences.
Begun in 1999 by Dr. Robert Freeman and Dr. Dennis Wright, of the Department of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University, the Saints At War Project is in partnership with The Veterans History Project, a larger effort being undertaken by the U.S. Library of Congress. Selections from the veterans’ accounts were compiled and published in 2001 under the title, Saints At War: Experiences of Latter-day Saints. Additionally, a Saints At War documentary was aired on KBYU on Veterans Day, November 11, 2001.
Dr. Freeman, reflecting on the importance of the project, said, “More than 1,100 American veterans are dying each day. These brave men and women will pass from our view very quickly and we felt an urgent need to capture their stories for future generations.”
During World War II, it is estimated that approximately 100,000 LDS served in uniform, on all sides of the conflict, and the project has now assembled collections from over 2,000 of these veterans. Within the veteran’s papers are accounts from prominent leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including Thomas S. Monson, James E. Faust, Boyd K. Packer, Neal A. Maxwell, and David B. Haight. Besides these noted servicemen, the project archive includes revealing facts and narratives that bring new insights into war and national conflicts.
If you wish tp participate in this project, please contact John Murphy, Curator of the Veteran's History Collection at L. Tom Perry Special Collections.