Historical researcher sets out to digitize Filipino WWII records in US

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A historical researcher is undertaking an ambitious digitization project that aims to recover and digitize personal stories of Filipino soldiers in World War II.

Historical researcher Marie L. Silva-Vallejo is leading the digitization project in the US
Historical researcher Marie L. Silva-Vallejo is leading the digitization project in the US

Marie L. Silva-Vallejo, along with her team, began the project on June 10, which aims to digitize all surviving records of Filipino regular soldiers and guerrillas during World War II.

Many of the documents are being retrieved from the Philippine Collection of the US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Maryland.

Vallejo decided to embark on the digitization project upon learning that NARA had no concrete plans to digitize and preserve the deteriorating manuscripts in their Philippine collection.

The manuscripts in the collection are comprised of memoirs of freedom fighters, officers, soldiers, and civilians whose narratives Vallejo wants to bring to the Philippines.

A devastated Manila after World War II
A devastated Manila after World War II

The expected output of the project team is the recovery of personal histories and diaries of soldiers and guerrillas recalling the event of the war ? accounts of the effort to liberate the Philippines from Japanese control ? among others.

The digitization project is backed by the Philippine Veteran Affairs Office (PVAO), a bureau under the Department of National Defense (DND), as well as the Filipino War Veterans Foundation, Inc. (FilVets).

If the team completes the digitization project in Maryland, Silva-Vallejo added that they may extend the project to the MacArthur Memorial Museum in Norfolk, Virginia.

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