World War II Veterans Collection

Identity elements

Reference code


Level of description



World War II Veterans Collection


  • 1989-1993 (Creation)


4.2 linear feet (10 boxes)

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This is a collection of material created and acquired from 129 mostly central Minnesota WWII veterans. The collection has 116 separate oral histories done from 1989 to 1993 for a project headed by St. Cloud State University History faculty member David Overy.

The material included that are not oral histories range from newspaper clippings, photographs, and paperwork related to an individual's service in the military, as well as souvenirs picked up while in Europe and from European Axis forces.

Most veterans included in this collection have an oral history with a handful that do not.  Also included material the veterans donated that relate to their experiences to go along with the oral histories that were conducted.

If there was no oral history for an individual, it was noted.

A few veterans had served solely during the Korean War and some served both in WWII and in Korea.

System of arrangement

Series 1: Oral History Transcripts and Other Material

The records are arranged in alphabetical order by last name

Series 2: Recordings

Sub-series 1: Audio cassettes

The tapes are organized in alphabetical order by last name

Sub-series 2: Video

The tapes are organized in alphabetical order by last name

Records are located at 35C.2d-3d.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Unless noted, there are no access restrictions.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Permission to publish must be secured from the copyright holder.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

    Language and script notes

    Finding aids

    Acquisition and appraisal elements

    Custodial history

    Immediate source of acquisition

    Most, if not all, oral histories and other material were created/collected by History faculty member David Overy in the late 1980s and early 1990s as director of the Central Minnesota Historical Center. The center was operated by the Department of History.

    Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


    As part of accession A16-022, the memoir of Junior Gossell, a 1942 graduate of St. Cloud State, was added to this collection.

    Related materials elements

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    Notes element

    General note

    Other Information:

    Users are advised that these interviews contain descriptions of violence, injury, disease, mental distress, and other trauma. This includes eyewitness accounts of wartime combat and its aftermath, as well as first-hand experiences of concentration camps and prisoner-of-war camps.

    In addition, the interviews presented here reflect a wide range of the speakers’ experiences, viewpoints, and time periods. Users may encounter harmful language, including the depiction of racist or hateful attitudes toward minority or marginalized communities and the use of terms that are outdated, insensitive, or offensive. We reject these biased views. However, we recognize these viewpoints illustrate social mindsets and perspectives held by some individuals at the time.

    To access the audio and transcripts, please either click on the live link in the scope and content note for each veteran. It will take you either to the Minnesota Digital Library or the Repository @ St. Cloud State.

    University Archives does have a list of the archival material, if present, in the file of the interviewee. In addition, for those who did not do an oral history, there is often archival material. Please ask University Archives for further information.

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    Sources used

    Archivist's note

    Tom Steman processed the collection in October 2014. The project was completed in October 2022. All audio was digitized, transcribed, checked, and uploaded either to the Minnesota Digital Library or the Repository @ St. Cloud State.

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