The National WWII Museum and Iron Mountain Partner to Preserve WWII Veteran Stories
Iron Mountain to fund digitization of Road to Tokyo Oral Histories, expand public access to Museum’s extensive collections
NEW ORLEANS & BOSTON (December 1, 2015) – Iron Mountain Incorporated ® (NYSE: IRM), the storage and information management company, has entered into a charitable partnership with The National WWII Museum to help digitally publish WWII veterans’ oral histories from the Pacific Theater of the war. Through a combination of financial support and in-kind services, Iron Mountain will assist with publishing nearly 100 veteran stories to the Museum’s online digital collection – a process that includes editing, annotating and safely storing recordings so that they’re easily attainable to the user.
As the Museum prepares to launch its newest permanent exhibit hall, Road to Tokyo: Pacific Theater Galleries, this impactful digitization project will help provide extensive public access to the institution’s diverse collections. Placing these oral histories on the Museum’s online collection will allow people across the nation and throughout the world to learn and benefit from them, providing audiences with a better understanding of the personal war experiences of everyone from servicemen and nurses to airmen and code-breakers.
In the oral history of Roy Boreen, a US Navy veteran who served on the USS Oklahoma, Boreen recalls the infamous attack at Pearl Harbor: “When I looked out I saw the Rising Sun on this Kate bomber that had just released its first torpedo for our ship. When I saw the Rising Sun I yelled out, ‘The Japs are here!’ A torpedo hit in the next compartment, hit a fuel tank, sprung the door and I was completely covered with oil. That morning the sun was out, it was a beautiful day, and then after the first attack and especially when the Arizona went up in the air, everything turned black. That day was really dark and everything after.”
“Every time we lose a veteran, it’s like losing a library – all of those memories and firsthand experiences are gone,” says Dr. Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, president and CEO of The National WWII Museum. “Digitization efforts preserve a significant piece of our nation’s cultural heritage for future generations, and Iron Mountain is helping us ensure that the stories of our World War II veterans are not lost with their passing. Through archiving and sharing firsthand accounts like Roy’s, we’re able to present deep and meaningful content to the public and students and scholars of all ages, living all over the world.”
The Museum launched its new and improved digital collections website in December 2013 (ww2online.org). The site currently contains segmented and annotated videos of oral histories from all military service branches, which are easily searchable by theater, branch of service or keywords. Website visitors can also create personal accounts to which they can save photos and oral history clips – free of charge – allowing them to manage the resources to better aid their own research projects or personal interests.
In addition to assisting with digitization efforts of these remarkable oral histories, Iron Mountain will provide the Museum with in-kind storage space for its ever-expanding archive of historical records, including original research tapes recorded by Museum founder and historian Stephen E. Ambrose.
“Iron Mountain’s philanthropic focus on cultural and historical preservation underscores our belief in the importance of our shared heritage,” says Ty Ondatje, senior vice president for Corporate Responsibility and chief diversity officer, Iron Mountain. “Our Living Legacy Initiative gives us the opportunity to extend that focus to non-profit organizations like the World War II Museum that share our vision for cultural and historical preservation. We’re thrilled to partner with The National WWII Museum to lend our expertise and help them preserve priceless narratives so that they can be extended to people everywhere.”
Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM) is a leading provider of storage and information management services. The company’s real estate network of over 67 million square feet across more than 1,000 facilities in 36 countries allows it to serve customers with speed and accuracy. And its solutions for records management, data management, document management, and secure shredding help organizations to lower storage costs, comply with regulations, recover from disaster, and better use their information for business advantage. Founded in 1951, Iron Mountain stores and protects billions of information assets, including business documents, backup tapes, electronic files and medical data. Visit www.ironmountain.com for more information.
The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and served on the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944 or visit nationalww2museum.org.