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WFTF Mission

What is Write from the Front (WFTF) and why is it important?
WFTF is a special program that the SC Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum created specifically to preserve email, photos, and letters from South Carolina service members that reflect their daily experiences while on duty defending our nation. WFTF is central to the Museum’s mission to collect and preserve South Carolina’s military history from the colonial period to the present.

PhotoFor centuries, South Carolinians have answered the call to military service. From Fort Moultrie to the Persian Gulf, the proud sons and daughters of the Palmetto State have always served with honor and distinction. We know about their brave feats and quiet sacrifices – their contribution to our history - from the letters and photographs that soldiers have sent back from the field of battle through the ages. The most precious resource for historians and future generations are the thoughts, recollections, and experiences of our service members recorded at the time that they lived them.

The advent of the Internet has dramatically changed how service members communicate with those at home. Today it is possible to send a quick email from almost anywhere at any time. The immediacy of email makes these sources an especially important historical treasure - but they can also be lost forever with a single click of the delete button.

WFTF seeks to protect these important documents so that researchers can tell the stories of those who sacrificed to keep our state and nation safe and free. Whether they’re hidden away on a hard drive or in an old shoebox, the passage of time only increases the chances these irreplaceable records of history as it was lived, by those who lived it, will be lost.

How does the Museum manage WFTF?
All submissions are preserved by the Curator of Collections at the SC Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum, which is certified by the American Association of Museums as meeting the highest standards of museum practice.

The museum saves every email received in a backed-up digital archive. The Curator also prints each email and archives it in the same manner as any historical documents. Papers, documents, photos are stored in archival materials (acid free boxes, folders, mylar for photos) and each collection is organized by the soldier’s name. The archived collections are placed in a secure storage area with proper climate control, Photowhich protects the documents for temperature variations, relative humidity, and harsh light.

The documents are available for historians, researchers, genealogists and the general public to review free of charge.

How do I participate in WFTF?
On March 5, 2003, the SC General Assembly passed a resolution “to encourage those brave soldiers to record their legacies of service by participating in the Write From the Front Program sponsored by the Budget & Control Board’s SC Confederate Relic Room & Museum.”

WFTF is your chance to be a part of history! Whether you are a service member, family, or friend, you can help preserve these important documents. To find out more about how you can participate, visit the Submit Materials page.

NOTE: By sending email, images, and other electronic information, you give permission to the SC Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum to reproduce the image and/or email or any other WFTF correspondence for purposes of display and/or reproduction in all Museum programs and projects.  The print-out(s) will be added to the Museum's WFTF archives and may be used in various ways by the Museum including exhibitions, publications, websites, audio-visual productions, and educational programs.

What is the future of WFTF?
Within the next few years, the SC Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum plans to create an exhibit about WFTF. The exhibition will combine excerpts from the emails and letters received, along with artifacts from the field, to create a special display about the experience of today’s service men and women.

 

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