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Headed for Computer Screens Everywhere: U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center to digitize its ext

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December 17, 2018
Headed for Computer Screens Everywhere:  U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center to digitize its extensive military history collection
 
 
The U.S. Army has awarded a digitization contract to QualX Corporation, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business.  QualX and its team has contracted to deliver a large-scale digitization project to the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) over the next five years. QualX has a one-year contract, with four option years. QualX has announced two sub-contractors on the project:  Iron Mountain, Inc., a provider of storage and information management services; and TDEC, a provider of metadata support.
 
The result of this effort will be the creation of a digital repository, enabling Army leaders and educators, veterans, students, and researchers around the world to have access to this important archival collection of military materials, including an estimated 33 million indexed images. 
 
The property dispersal receipt for the atomic bomb dropped at Hiroshima.  The duty log for Headquarters, 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, acknowledging communication with Pearl Harbor that they are under attack on December 7, 1941. GEN Robert E. Lee’s instructions to GEN Ewell as they retreated from Gettysburg.  These are just a few examples from the collection of millions of letters, journals, photographs, surveys and other historical materials that will be digitized as part of a projected five year project to make archival collections of one of America’s premier military history and research institutions accessible worldwide.
 
“Every Army senior leader I talk with is excited about the Army Archives Digitization Program because it directly supports Army readiness,” said Col. Timothy Sullivan, acting director of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center. “They see the benefits for both our Army and the American people. In the future, everyone will be able to review, access, and learn from compelling examples of our U.S. Army history.”
 
“The USAHEC is embarking on one of the most ambitious digital history projects ever undertaken by the Army, with the goal being that any U.S. Army leader, historian, or genealogist will be able to access one of the most important U.S. Army historical collections anywhere in the world,” said Sullivan.
 
 
The digitization process will mean that some collections will be inaccessible for limited periods of time.  All researchers are urged to call ahead to the Library Research Assistance Team to confirm availability: 717-245-3949. 
 
An equally important part of making the USAHEC collections more available is a redevelopment of the integrated library systems and the web-based research systems to make accessing the digitized materials simpler. To do this, the USAHEC has partnered with Axiell, which is utilizing its extensive array of digital support systems to create a comprehensive search engine that connects users with the historical materials they need from the USAHEC’s historical collections and the U.S. Army War College (USAWC) Library. The USAWC Library, a dual location library that operates at both the USAHEC and the USAWC, is the largest in the U.S. Army and, arguably, the most extensively used by researchers, students, and U.S. Army leaders.
 
“The USAHEC is widely respected for the size and scope of its holdings – and for its reputation as a conservation center for Army archives. They’ve earned the respect of Army historians, the Army Museum System, as well as sister archives, libraries, and museums around the world,” said COL Sullivan.