[106th Congress Public Law 380]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]

[DOCID: f:publ380.106]

[[Page 114 STAT. 1]]

Public Law 106-380
106th Congress

                                 An Act

  To direct the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress to 
 establish a program to collect video and audio recordings of personal 
   histories and testimonials of American war veterans, and for other 
            purposes. <<NOTE: Oct. 27, 2000 -  [H.R. 5212]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled <<NOTE: Veterans' Oral 
History Project Act.>> 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. <<NOTE: 20 USC 2101 note.>> 

    This Act may be cited as the ``Veterans' Oral History Project Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS; PURPOSE. <<NOTE: 20 USC 2141.>> 

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds as follows:
            (1) Military service during a time of war is the highest 
        sacrifice a citizen may make for his or her country.
            (2) 4,700,000 Americans served in World War I, 16,500,000 
        Americans served in World War II, 6,800,000 Americans served in 
        the Korean Conflict, 9,200,000 Americans served in the Vietnam 
        Conflict, 3,800,000 Americans served in the Persian Gulf War, 
        and countless other Americans served in military engagements 
        overseas throughout the 20th century.
            (3) The Department of Veterans Affairs reports that there 
        are almost 19,000,000 war veterans living in this Nation today.
            (4) Today there are only approximately 3,400 living veterans 
        of World War I, and of the some 6,000,000 veterans of World War 
        II alive today, almost 1,500 die each day.
            (5) Oral histories are of immeasurable value to historians, 
        researchers, authors, journalists, film makers, scholars, 
        students, and citizens of all walks of life.
            (6) War veterans possess an invaluable resource in their 
        memories of the conflicts in which they served, and can provide 
        a rich history of our Nation and its people through the 
        retelling of those memories, yet frequently those who served 
        during times of conflict are reticent to family and friends 
        about their experiences.
            (7) It is in the Nation's best interest to collect and 
        catalog oral histories of American war veterans so that future 
        generations will have original sources of information regarding 
        the lives and times of those who served in war and the 
        conditions under which they endured, so that Americans will 
        always remember those who served in war and may learn first-hand 
        of the heroics, tediousness, horrors, and triumphs of war.
            (8) The Library of Congress, as the Nation's oldest Federal 
        cultural institution and largest and most inclusive library in 
        human history (with nearly 119,000,000 items in its multimedia

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        collection) is an appropriate repository to collect, preserve, 
        and make available to the public an archive of these oral 
        histories. The Library's American Folklife Center has expertise 
        in the management of documentation projects and experience in 
        the development of cultural and educational programs for the 

    (b) Purpose.--It is the purpose of this Act to create a new 
federally sponsored, authorized, and funded program that will coordinate 
at a national level the collection of video and audio recordings of 
personal histories and testimonials of American war veterans, and to 
assist and encourage local efforts to preserve the memories of this 
Nation's war veterans so that Americans of all current and future 
generations may hear directly from veterans and better appreciate the 
realities of war and the sacrifices made by those who served in uniform 
during wartime.


    (a) In General.--The Director of the American Folklife Center at the 
Library of Congress shall establish an oral history program--
            (1) to collect video and audio recordings of personal 
        histories and testimonials of veterans of the Armed Forces who 
        served during a period of war;
            (2) to create a collection of the recordings obtained 
        (including a catalog and index) which will be available for 
        public use through the National Digital Library of the Library 
        of Congress and such other methods as the Director considers 
        appropriate to the extent feasible subject to available 
        resources; and
            (3) to solicit, reproduce, and collect written materials 
        (such as letters and diaries) relevant to the personal histories 
        of veterans of the Armed Forces who served during a period of 
        war and to catalog such materials in a manner the Director 
        considers appropriate, consistent with and complimentary to the 
        efforts described in paragraphs (1) and (2).

    (b) Use of and Consultation With Other Entities.--The Director may 
carry out the activities described in paragraphs (1) and (3) of 
subsection (a) through agreements and partnerships entered into with 
other government and private entities, and may otherwise consult with 
interested persons (within the limits of available resources) and 
develop appropriate guidelines and arrangements for soliciting, 
acquiring, and making available recordings under the program under this 
    (c) Timing.--As soon as practicable after the enactment of this Act, 
the Director shall begin collecting video and audio recordings under 
subsection (a)(1), and shall attempt to collect the first such 
recordings from the oldest veterans.

SEC. 4. PRIVATE SUPPORT. <<NOTE: 20 USC 2143.>> 

    (a) Acceptance of Donations.--The Librarian of Congress may solicit 
and accept donations of funds and in-kind contributions to carry out the 
oral history program under section 3.
    (b) Establishment of Separate Gift Account.--There is established in 
the Treasury (among the accounts of the Library of Congress) a gift 
account for the oral history program under section 3.

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    (c) Dedication of Funds.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
            (1) any funds donated to the Librarian of Congress to carry 
        out the oral history program under section 3 shall be deposited 
        entirely into the gift account established under subsection (b);
            (2) the funds contained in such account shall be used solely 
        to carry out the oral history program under section 3; and
            (3) the Librarian of Congress may not deposit into such 
        account any funds donated to the Librarian which are not donated 
        for the exclusive purpose of carrying out the oral history 
        program under section 3.


    There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act--
            (1) $250,000 for fiscal year 2001; and
            (2) such sums as may be necessary for each succeeding fiscal 

    Approved October 27, 2000.


            Oct. 4, considered and passed House.
            Oct. 17, considered and passed Senate.