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It’s customary to thank vets and active military for their service. Now everyone has an opportunity to put those thanks into action via the National Archives’ Citizen Scanning project.

The Archives are enlisting citizens across the country to assist with the colossal task of scanning and tagging the military-related paper documents stored in the Archives. Volunteers in the D.C. area can review and scan documents in person in the National Archives Innovation Hub. Those outside the area can participate remotely as online taggers adding searchable metadata tags to newly-scanned documents.

Documents to be scanned in person come from four categories of military records:

  • Compiled Military Service Records, after the Revolutionary War to the Philippine Insurrection.
  • Military Pension Files, including affidavits, medical records, and marriage records, from 1783 to 1903.
  • Bounty Land Records, including applications, supporting documents, and land grants, from 1790 to 1855.
  • Medical Records, including hospital records and reports of medical treatment in military service or military hospitals, after the Revolutionary War through 1912.

Tagging and transcription projects, for remote volunteers anywhere across America, are divided into wide-ranging categories of military history, including:

  • Indian Scout pension files
  • Buffalo Soldiers pension files
  • 20th Maine Infantry Regiment Civil War military service records
  • Escape and Evasion Reports from escaped American POWs

Accessibility and security are two reasons the National Archives is undertaking this enormous document imaging project. Scholars, students, and the general public can now access this wealth of information online, remotely. Moreover, the fragile one-of-a-kind original documents are digitally preserved, safe from fire, floods, and pilferage.

These benefits are two of the great strengths of imaging. Imaged documents become instantly available to remote workers – your organization’s team members who are continuing to work from home, for example. Businesses operate with better speed and efficiency when information is readily available to the entire team.

And imaged documents are protected from disasters of every kind. While your business documents may not have the same antiquity as those in the Archives, they are every bit as important to the management of your organization.

Check out the National Archives’ Citizen Missions. You’ll get a better appreciation of the benefits of document imaging, and you’ll have an opportunity to show your thanks to the veterans who helped keep this country safe.

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