Evan Murray, a UCF History major and research assistant with the UCF-NCA Veterans Legacy Program, has taken the skills learned in his courses and applied on VLP to conduct his own archival research in Washington D.C.
Evan works on both the VLP technical team and the World War I African American research team. He is using the programming languages HTML and CSS to edit biographies to include “pop out” encyclopedic information on events and terms, such as “The Great Depression” or “U.S.S. Leviathan.” He also aided in researching forgotten African American veterans, using research and writing skills developed during his time in the UCF History Department.
Evan recently applied these skills to his personal research in studying the prosecution of Nazi collaborators after World War II. He told us “his time with the Veterans Legacy Program prepared me for making the most out of my visit to the archives by familiarizing me with the the best ways to perform research and identify relevant information.”
Evan went on his Washington, D.C., research trip for the same reasons he has worked with the VLP this Summer: as an effort to “revive people’s stories and bring a sense of humanity to the past.” Evan thinks that providing people the opportunity to put themselves in the shoes of someone from 100 years ago is useful exercise in empathy. It not only provides informative historical context on the present, but encourages people to consider what the story will be of their time 100 years in the future. Evan says working on the VLP has been a great way to build his professional skills while also pursuing his passion for history.