LSU receives a grant worth nearly $400k from the Institute of Museum and Library Science in an effort to tell the stories of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans and active duty military through the creation of virtual footlockers.  Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science Ed Benoit says these virtual footlockers will not only be important family heirlooms but important documentation for historians.

“Not just have the official history of what happened, but to have that personal account of what a soldier’s life was like during a time period,” said Benoit.

The virtual footlockers would include social media posts, digital photos, videos, emails, and stories from the troops.  Benoit says much of the documentation may get lost in data migration through time, but he is consulting with soldiers in an effort to make the preservation as encompassing as possible.

“Just trying to find out what a veteran needs, what are the technical requirements that we need to create the application,” said Benoit.

While the project is focusing on vets of the 21st century, Benoit is hoping to eventually expand the scope of the project.

“If people are interested in preserving something they received as a family heirloom in a digital format, this might be able to help them too,” said Benoit.