Attention TLCB Members
We need your help to preserve our history!
The Thailand, Laos, Cambodia Brotherhood has designated the Vietnam Archive at Texas Tech University as our archive. The purpose for establishing this relationship is to allow for several things.
TLCB is an important and unique group of men and women and the history of our collective service and sacrifice needs to be preserved and made available to researchers and the public. The Vietnam Archive is the nation’s largest archive for the Vietnam War outside the US government and is one of the first places researchers go when they want to learn about the war.
The archive wants to work with every single TLCB member so that our history is preserved and made available to researchers who want to learn about what happened in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. We need to make sure that our history is there and available lest future generations of Americans forget about what our nation sacrificed. Your participation in preserving our history will help create a far more complete understanding of American activities in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.
The Vietnam Archive will preserve any personal material you’re willing to donate to a collection in your name. The great thing about this is that you will not lose access to your materials. If you donate documents, photographs, slides, audio recordings, films, and just about anything else, the Vietnam Archive will digitize those materials and will return copies to you on CD-ROM or DVD. In addition, they will make digital copies available online through the Virtual Vietnam Archive so that you can more easily share them with family, friends and other members of the TLCB. Also, all TLCB collections will be linked together and we are able to link to all TLCB collections our web site.
The archive also invites all TLCB members to participate in the Oral History Project. They will conduct recorded interviews at our convenience so that, many years from now, researchers as well as your great, great grandchildren will be able to listen to you tell your history in your own words and in your voice. This is a wonderful and powerful legacy for all of us to leave for our descendents and future generations who are interested in learning from us.
In addition, the Vietnam Archive is preserving all of our organizational materials making sure that the history of the TLCB and our collective endeavors since the war are preserved alongside the history of our service in Southeast Asia. TLCB records will always be there as a part of the history! They will be digitizing and making many of those records available online as well.
This is a great opportunity for all members of TLCB to search through your closets, attics, basements, garages, foot-lockers, and old boxes and send your collections to the archive before they are lost or damaged. Donating your collection is very easy and the archive staff stands ready to assist you in any way necessary. Just call or write to let them know that you have materials you want to donate. Their e-mail address is email@example.com and their phone number is 806-742-9010.
Here are some basic questions and answers about donating to the Vietnam Archive
1. What happens to my collection when I donate it?
When someone donates a collection to the Vietnam Archive, we create a collection in your name – e.g. The John Doe Collection. As a member of the TLCB, we will also link your collection to the TLCB Collection. When we receive your materials, we will process them for inclusion in the Vietnam Archive, organize them, create a finding aid, store them in acid free folders and boxes, digitize the materials, place copies online on the Virtual Archive. We will store the originals in our state-of-the-art archival facility which is temperature, humidity, and light controlled to ensure your collection will last as long as is physically possible. We keep preservation copies of digitized materials on high quality CDROM and DVD for easier retrieval and duplication and we will send copies of your collection back to you on CDROM or DVD. That way, you will always have access to digital copies of your collection materials. Since we can digitize analog audio (reel-to-reel as well as cassette) and most film formats (regular 8mm, super 8mm, and 16mm), you will receive copies from us that are much more functional and accessible. This will be important for future generations of your family and researchers since the archive will be in a position to migrate to new digital formats, ensuring continued access.
2. Will I get my original materials back?
Not usually. The entire purpose of an archive is to provide long-term preservation and access to original materials. While we have the ability to create high quality digital copies, those are not a legitimate substitute for the original materials in an archive. There are some very specific reasons for this and they are discussed in the answer to the next question.
3. I have already scanned my photos, slides, and documents. Can’t I just send you a copy of everything on CDROM?
Yes, but that material will have very limited access and is not in the interest of long-term historical study. As an academic archive dedicated to long-term preservation and access, we are very concerned about the verifiability and reliability of the materials in the archive. While we will appreciate receiving a CDROM, we will not be able to add the content to the Virtual Vietnam Archive for online access. Here’s why:
a. Digital files will become corrupted over time and CDs will not last forever – especially standard, inexpensive, store bought varieties. If all you have donated to the archive is the CDROM with digital images, when this degradation to the digital copies occurs, we will not be able to recreate future digital copies and your collection will no longer exist. The only way to ensure long-term archival preservation and access is through the original materials. That way, we can always regenerate digital access copies as needed.
b. Researchers who use collections that exist in only digital formats in the archive run the risk that their work will be challenged and future access to the materials they used to validate their research might not be available. Again, unless we have the originals to back up the digital copies, this is not good for history or the scholars and researchers who are interested in your collections.
c. Such a situation where original materials cannot be accessed in addition to the digital copies is contrary to the fundamental mission and intent of the archive. We exist to provide long-term access to verifiable and reliable original materials. We have created the Virtual Archive to facilitate much wider and easier access to collection materials – not to act as a replacement for receiving them.
4. I have some original materials but would prefer sending photocopies. Can I send them instead?
Yes, we will appreciate receiving photocopies of original documents but will be just as concerned about verifiability and reliability as we are when dealing with digitized copies. If possible, we would prefer receiving the originals and providing you with photocopies. But, if you just can’t bring yourself to part with the original materials, please do send the photocopies. In the end, we think it is far better that a photocopy be preserved than no copy at all!
5. How can I send my collection to the archive?
First, we would like to know that your collection is on the way so please send us an email message or give us a call to let us know you are sending your materials. To facilitate shipping donated materials to the archive, we can also provide prepaid completed shipping labels. We can discuss everything about creating your collection at the archive when you contact us. We will be happy to answer any questions you have and to provide whatever assistance we can.
6. How can I participate in the Oral History Project?
The Oral History Project is open to all TLCB members to include spouses and family members of veterans. We want to preserve a complete history to include combat operations, base life, and the impact of the war at home. To learn more about participating, please call 806-742-9010 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.