Footnote and NARA Bring WWII Info Interactivity

Posted by at 11:18 am on December 8, 2008 and the National Archives and Records Administration have announced the release of the first-ever interactive World War II collection, which includes an interactive version of the USS Arizona Memorial, WWII Hero Pages, and WWII photos and documents previously unavailable on the internet.

“We can’t afford to forget this period in our history,” says James Hastings, director of access programs at the National Archives. “Our ongoing partnership with helps ensure that the stories contained in these photos and documents are accessible to everyone, particularly those who cannot travel to our facilities to study the original records. This partnership complements our mission of making National Archives holdings as widely available as possible.”

Similar to the Vietnam War Memorial project that released last March, the USS Arizona Memorial is a fully searchable digital image of the national monument.   The USS Arizona Memorial allows users to search for people they know by simply typing in a name. The image viewer will zoom in to the specific area of the wall where that name appears. By placing the cursor over the name, users can access an interactive box featuring additional information about the sailors, including a place to contribute photos and stories about that individual.

In January 2007, partnered with the National Archives and other archives to digitize valuable records that contain the collective story of the United States. Now featuring over 47 million documents and photos on the site, tools bring history to life by allowing users to connect with their past and with each other.

For a limited time, is providing free access to its National Archives WWII collections that include:

  • Pearl Harbor Muster Rolls
  • Missing Air Crew Reports
  • U.S. Air Force Photos
  • Submarine Patrol Reports
  • Japanese Air Target Analysis
  • Army JAG Case Files
  • Navy JAG Case Files
  • Naval Press Clippings
  • Allied Military Conferences

“There’s more than just names, dates and places,” explains Ted Young, a WWII veteran whose oldest brother died on the USS Arizona as a result of the Pearl Harbor bombing. “I hope that someday our grandsons or great-grandsons will see this and have a better picture of what was going on in our time.” To see a video of Mr. Young explaining how he preserved his brother’s WWII experience on, click here.

In addition, is also releasing Hero Pages, an easy way to create a tribute or memorial to our war heroes. These Hero Pages feature an interactive timeline and map, a place to upload photos, documents and letters, and a place to share stories about individuals who fought in WWII.

“These pages will tell a story that is not included in history textbooks,” says Russ Wilding, CEO of “What we find is the Hero Pages add to history with stories that were not always documented, but rather passed down from generation to generation. These Hero Pages are a great way to involve the entire family and bring them together to add their pieces of the puzzle that make up their history.” and the National Archives have already created over 9 million Hero Pages from the Army enlistment records. invites those who were impacted by World War II to come and find or create a Hero Page, and preserve those memories that are disappearing too quickly.

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