WVML Launches "Research to Remember: In Their Own Words — Recorded Histories by West Vancouver Veterans"


West Vancouver Memorial Library Launches Research to Remember: In Their Own Words
Recorded Histories by West Vancouver Veterans

November 1, 2018, West Vancouver, B.C. – For the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of the First World War, the Library is launching Research to Remember: In Their Own Words, featuring video interviews with three West Vancouver veterans: Harry Greenwood (Royal Navy), Ted Langley (British Army) and Barney Nunns (Royal Canadian Air Force).

“These interviews preserve for future generations the histories of veterans in our community who served in the armed forces,” says Peter Skinner, President of the Royal Canadian Legion West Vancouver Legion. “The recordings of their personal experiences offer deep insights into the impact of the war on their families and communities.” 

An exhibition of the video recordings with commentary by Veteran Ted Langley will take place in the West Vancouver Memorial Library on November 11 at the Remembrance Day Open House hosted by the Friends of the Library. The Friends of the Library also provided the financial support for Research to Remember: In Their Own Words – Recorded Histories by West Vancouver Veterans. 

The permanent virtual exhibit is online at digital.westvanlibrary.ca where the interviews with each of the three veterans may be viewed in full length or in short segments by topic. The interviews are also fully transcribed and text searchable, making this an invaluable new resource for researchers, teachers and students. 

“By hosting the interviews in a virtual exhibit on our Library’s website, we connect local family stories to the collective history and memory of the war that are in libraries and archives across the country and beyond,” observed Library Board Chair David Carter. “The online exhibit of the recorded videos makes the interviews universally accessible.” 

For Shannon Ozirny, Head of Youth Services at the Library, the interviews provide meaningful connections for learning and reflecting on our history. “We are fortunate to live in a time of peace and liberty steeped in the values of equality, fairness and justice for all people,” she says. “Recording the stories of our community’s veterans honours them and ensures that youth of today and tomorrow will be able to appreciate how hard people fought to protect these freedoms.” 

Research to Remember – Background

Since 2015, the West Vancouver Memorial Library (WVML) has undertaken a series of Research to Remember projects to connect the community with local history. Starting with a grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage’s World War Commemorations Community Fund, WVML created primary research packages for 24 of the 91 fallen soldiers noted on the cenotaph in West Vancouver’s Memorial Park. Each research package contains a brief history on the solider, copies of papers, photos and documents from the soldiers’ service records, and questions to guide discovery and learning. These research binders are available in the Youth Department year-round and may be borrowed by all Library cardholders. 

WVML also offers a Research to Remember school program for West Vancouver secondary students. In the program, which was aligned with the curriculum by two West Vancouver Schools Social Studies teachers, Youth librarians guide students through the primary research packages, teaching them to navigate historical documents and think critically about the past and the present. 

For more information, please contact:
Celina O’Connor, Communications Coordinator

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