The Marines need YOU to help preserve the last 100 years

The Marines need YOU to help preserve the last 100 years

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COLUMBIA SC (WOLO)–For well over eight decades, as  many members of the United States Marine Corps have stormed beaches, fought hard, and protected the Country, there have been many other brave men and women, armed not with an M16A4, but a camera.  Their mission: to catalog operations, significant moments in history, and even humane moments behind the USMC.  This immense library of video history, which includes 10,000 reels of unreleased films and some 1800 hours of footage is at risk.

As time goes on, the very video tape that captured these moments ages and deteriorates, and could soon be lost forever.  In an effort to save these irreplaceable images, The University of South Carolina Libraries of Moving Image Research Collections (MIRC) has partnered with Quantico’s Marine Corps House to not only protect this footage, but provide a long-term home.

In order to fund this large scale effort, USC and the Marines are turning to the community.  According to MIRC’s Dr. Greg Wilsbacher,  they are in need of nearly $2 million to protect the entire library, which includes footage ranging from in-theater combat action at Iwo Jima, to training efforts in South Carolina.

The money that is raised will purchase machines and computers to convert the film to a digital copy, hire and pay staff to review and catalog, create databases and web serves to host video, and provide ongoing support to ensure the database remains operational.  Wilsbacher says that once digitized, the “vast library will be available to everyone, for free.”

As if almost taking a cue from the old adage of eating an elephant one bite at a time,  MIRC is kick-starting the effort with a much smaller milestone.  “We are trying to raise $25,000 by December 11 to digitize footage shot at Parris Island,” says Wilsbacher.  In order to accomplish this task, MIRC is turning to crowd funding.  The organization is hoping that the community understands not only the current need, but the importance of helping future generations understand the “tremendous sacrifices made that gave us our great Nation.”

The Parris Island project ends on December 11.  If you would like to learn more or donate to the project, you can check out their funding page HERE.  You can also learn more about the library and MIRC HERE.



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