« Return to news

U.S. Army Women’s Museum creates historic online archive for public use

July 3, 2024 | In the Press

From US Army (https://www.army.mil/article/277795/u_s_army_womens_museum_creates_historic_online_archive_for_public_use)

A new online archive on the Army Women’s Museum’s website is shedding light on preserved artifacts, archives and exhibits pertaining to the service of women in the U.S. Army.

“Our goal with this project is to create an online repository that will preserve and make available to the nation the archival holdings here at the Army Women’s Museum,” said Tracy Bradford, Army Women’s Museum curator.

The AWM’s first ever online archive called “Digital Collections,” will grant accessibility to those who cannot visit the museum in person while allowing them to enjoy the archives, exhibits, and collections virtually.

“We want those who are not able to travel to us in person to still be able to experience everything our museum has to offer,” said Alexandra J. Kolleda, Army Women’s Museum education specialist.

To share this history with the public, the museum works behind the scenes to process and make all their collections virtually available online.

To start the off the process, each individual piece in a collection needs to be scanned and uploaded digitally. Next, data entries with all the necessary information such as the date, title and subjects are created for each piece.

These pieces include photographs, certificates, postcards and even more diverse pieces like an av file.

“Adding informational data to all the pieces helps make each collection more complete and ready for public accessibility,” said Kolleda.

Depending on the piece, some might even be used within the museum’s virtual tours.

Visitors can find these online archives by going to the AWM’s home page of their website and scrolling down to find a historic image of a group of females in the Army reading “The U.S. Army Women’s Museum Digital Collections.” Clicking on this photo will bring the visitor into the digital collections portion of the website.

U.S. Army Women’s Museum creates historic online archive for public use

Within the digital collections, visitors can view featured exhibits and collections, historic images, documentations, certificates and even do advanced searches to find what they are looking for.

Under the advanced search, visitors can enter exact information to help enhance their search. Information such as a title, date range, a person’s name and possible descriptions to help find the exact criteria being searched for.

The vast majority of which is not displayed in the gallery due to lack of room, will now be available for viewing by being displayed online in the digital collections portion of the website.

“Uploading, these collections purely depend on the size of the collection,” said Kolleda. “A smaller collection might take us a day while a larger collection might take two weeks or more.”

U.S. Army Women’s Museum creates historic online archive for public use

The AWM hopes that their new digital collections will continue to educate those far and near, including students throughout Virginia and other states who utilize the museum for their studies and school projects.

“We feel it is our responsibility to share these historical documents with the pubic – so that researchers, students, families, etc. can access these unique primary source materials,” said Bradford.

Connect with us
Our mission

The mission of ARCS is to represent and promote registrars and collection specialists, to educate the profession in best practices of registration and collections care, and to facilitate communication and networking.

Learn more about ARCS »