The Waterville Historical Society, at 62 Silver St, in Waterville, will sponsor a free scan-athon from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 18. The scan-thon, “Remembering Those Who Served,” is in memory of the sacrifices made by World War I and World War II participants, according to a news release from the historical society.

Cliff Manchester, Christmas 1943. Photo courtesy of Cliff Manchester

Family members, friends, and WWII participants themselves are invited to bring their documents such as draft cards, discharge letters, and other government correspondence; text items including personal letters, post cards, and telegrams; photographs; and/or artifacts, such as dog tags and medals. All items will remain with those who bring them. The historical society will not be able to scan copyrighted materials.

Curator Bryan Finnemore and historical society volunteers will scan and/or photograph items relating to either world war. After the items are scanned and/or photographed, scan-athon participants will be given a digital link via email that will allow them to electronically share their items with family and friends.

“War Participants,” the subjects of the items, would include all those who served: Soldiers, nurses, doctors, chaplains, etc. — not exclusively soldiers — but instead a broad spectrum of people who helped with the war effort in either war.

Pre-War and post-war items also are appreciated, such as war-related items courtesy of Cliff Manchester from the years 1914 to 1948.

Participants do not have to come from Waterville or live in Waterville now. Also, the subject (war participant) who appears in the photo, or whose name appears on the document, does not have to come from Waterville or live in Waterville now. All participants, and all information about WWI or WWII veterans from anywhere in the U.S. are welcome.

A short interview will be conducted by staff regarding the item brought, in order to thoroughly identify it. The historical society hopes to digitally preserve what often gets thrown away, especially when people leave their homes. With the participants’ permission, the historical society also can digitally archive their documents, photos, etc. into the WHS Archives, in order to maintain a digital record of veterans’ service at the museum. Scan-thon participants have the option to permit their items to be included in the summer WHS digital display celebrating war participants.

To make a scan-athon appointment, call 872-7915.

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