OMEKA Helps Bring WWII Collection to Life

aviator_pageSC&A created its first OMEKA project this summer, and demonstrated it for the first time at the 29th Annual Reunion of the 43rd Bomb Group of the 403rd Bomb Squadron of the 5th Air Force in San Antonio, Texas this past weekend. On Saturday, September 26th,  group of about one hundred veterans from the 43rd and their families were in attendance to see a collection of materials from their buddy, Leonard H. Clark, displayed via an OMEKA exhibit.

This exhibit can be seen at:

The collection contains documents, photographs, and memorabilia related to Major Clark’s service in the United States Air Force. Most notably, the collection contains military records, Japanese souvenirs from World War II, and aerial photographs made by Clark of military operations in the Philippines. The collection contains material from 1938-1968 and 2003.

The guide to this collection can be seen at:

From the Archives: PE Building History

With the opening of the Recreation Athletic Complex, it is a great time to reflect on the construction of the original Physical Education Building from 1970-1972. All of the images are reproductions from the George Mason University Archives, University Relations Records.

Groundbreaking and Construction Press Release, 1970

Groundbreaking Schedule and Building Images, 1970

Construction Photographs, 1971

PE Building Exterior, 1976

What am I?

Can you identify this image?

Can you identify this image? Photo by the author.

This unidentified object, part of the Alexander Haight Family Collection, was found alongside a broken handcuff and chisel in western Fairfax County, Virginia. Speculation is that a fugitive, possibly a slave, possibly a captured soldier, hid in the woods and used the chisel to break through the handcuff, leaving this object behind with them. Please let us know if you can identify this object.

Longitudinal view of object showing size

Longitudinal view of object showing size. Photo by the author.

View of object with "arms" wide open to reveal interior detail

View of object with "arms" wide open to reveal interior detail. Photo by the author.

The Alexander Haight family collection offers a glimpse of American history told through documents and artifacts once belonging to the Haight family. Correspondence among extended family members refer to the California Gold Rush, in which George Sweet (1821-1898) participated as an original “49er and includes letters from Union soldier John M. Young (1831-1864) to his wife and children. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Alexander Haight and his wife Phebe, who had recently moved from Dutchess County, New York to Chantilly, Virginia, found themselves in a precarious position as Union sympathizers in the South. Documents in this collection such as army-issued passes allowing the Haights to cross the Virginia border, receipts for supplies provided to both the Union and Confederate Armies, and a letter from Union Major General Julius Stahel affirming Alexander Haight’s loyalty to the Union Army reveal just how precarious their position was.

In addition to correspondence and Civil War artifacts the collection contains old photographs, legal documents, and financial records dating as far back as 1764. Specific items of interest include Confederate bonds, a signed, hand-written letter from renowned journalist and New York Tribune-founder Horace Greeley, and an official order issued by General Stonewall Jackson on the day of the Battle of Chantilly (Ox Hill) prohibiting the theft or destruction of private property.

Text by Eron Ackerman.