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Digitization Day caps Franco Collection’s wartime series

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Recent speaker James Myall displays a historic photo, one of the various types of wartime-related materials local Franco-Americans are invited to bring in for the event.

The final event in the Franco-American Collection’s program series “Franco-Americans During Wartime: A Heritage of Service” will take place on Saturday, October 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when members of the Franco-American community are invited to bring in their wartime-related materials to be digitized. Those who do will leave with their original materials, along with a digital copy, and will have the option of depositing a digital copy at the Collection to be preserved and used for research.

The series has been sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of its Common Heritage Grant Program, an effort to help preserve historical materials by making digital copies of items held by the community. The Franco-American Collection has focused on the wartime experiences of Franco-Americans, whether in military service or on the home front.

“People may not realize what wonderful materials they have in their scrapbooks or attics,” said Collection Coordinator Janet Roberts.  “They may have letters or pictures from an ancestor who served in the Spanish-American War, or movies from someone who served in Afghanistan. We’re also hoping that some people will bring in materials from the home front, such as ration books or pictures of Victory Gardens. We want to help them preserve those memories by creating a digital copy.”

In addition to the digitization activities, Jeannette Gregoire will play piano and there will be light refreshments and exhibits. Free and open to the public, the event will take place in Rooms 170 and 171 of USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College at 51 Westminster Street in Lewiston. For more information, call 753-6545 or email janet.roberts@maine.edu.

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