New York State Veterans Oral History Program
Oral History Video & Audio Archive
Self Interview Packet
This form asks you to describe your military service. If you would like to be interviewed please check the appropriate place on the last page.
New Program - Old Virtues
Established by the Governor on Veterans' Day, 2000, the New York State Veteran Oral History Program involves professional military historians using the latest digital technology to preserve the story of New York's Veterans - in their own words - now and for all generations to come.
The program is concentrating on the state's sizable World War II Veteran community; however, we are also collecting the experiences of veterans of all periods and services.
We in the Division of Military and Naval Affairs are proud to be part of this Gubernatorial initiative, providing the historical and administrative support. Funding and technological assistance are provided by the Governor's Office for Technology. Working together with the Division of Veteran Affairs, these state agencies are dedicated to realizing the Governor's intent to save the thoughts and experiences of the state's veterans, not just because these are important parts of state and national history, but also because they are invaluable lessons in the values that made New York the Empire State.
Each interview conducted enters an individual veteran's experiences into the permanent public memory of the state and nation, and builds a collection of irreplaceable value that scholars, students, and family members will wish to use for years without end.
We are using the inherent advantages of the digital technology involved to go further than just gathering and storing these memories and prepare visual presentations from the basic materials that brings the veterans' stories directly into the schools and homes of their fellow New Yorkers.
How the Program Works
Each veteran who desires to participate are asked, as a first step, to complete a veteran's questionnaire. The information entered on this form not only helps our historians prepare for the interview - it also helps you get ready to be interviewed. The modern version of a form in use since the Civil War, it becomes part of the permanent record along with the actual interview itself. For more information on the questionnaire, please see below.
The completed questionnaire, when received, is our cue to call you and arrange for an interview.
Depending on your preferences and availability, and the availability of the historians, you will be offered one of four choices:
A video interview at our facilities in the Capital District ( available Mondays through Fridays).
A video interview at a veterans or military installation or event nearer your home (dates vary).
An audio interview, by telephone (available Mondays through Fridays).
A self-interview packet which includes instructions on how you or a friend or family member can conduct an interview.
All tapes are stored in a digital format. The use of digital formats ensures that the veteran's recollections and experiences will be preserved for generations to come.
All video and audio media (regardless of method of collection) will be catalogued, summarized, transcribed whenever feasible, and placed into protective storage. Catalogue information will be made as widely available as possible, and the interviews made available to the general and academic community, subject to any limitations placed on their use by the individual veteran.
When specifically authorized by each veteran, copies or portions of the interviews may be shared with other research institutions or school and university programs.
Phone: You can call 518-581-5100 and provide the operator with your name, address, and phone number information to register for the New York State Veteran Oral History Program. You will be sent a veteran's questionnaire to complete. In the event all operators are busy you will be able to leave a voice message for a return call.