Wabash Valley Visions and Voices adds chemical depot documents

By: ISU Communications and Marketing Staff, ISU Communications and Marketing Staff
February 11, 2010

Wabash Valley Visions and Voices recently expanded its digital history collection to include an archive of the history of the Newport Chemical Depot near Newport, Ind.

"It's an important addition to Wabash Valley Visions and Voices," said Cinda May, project coordinator and Indiana State University assistant librarian. "The Newport Chemical Depot facility had a major impact on the lives of the people in Vermillion County."

The depot, which has been the site of many Department of Defense projects including heavy water, RDX, nerve agent VX and TNT along with the storage and ultimate disposal of VX, must be closed by September 2011 under Base Realignment and Closure requirements.

Through Wabash Valley Visions and Voices, historical documents, photos and videos will be available long after U.S. Army projects are finished on site, leaving a legacy for the people of Newport.

"The Army appreciates the national contributions of the Newport work force over the last 60 plus years," said Terry Arthur, Newport Chemical Depot public affairs officer. "It is hoped that this project can show their valuable efforts to the surrounding communities, the country and the world. Newport workers made history. They made a difference."

Though the archive will have information about multiple depot projects, it highlights the VX project, documenting the beginning stages of operation to the final stages of chemical stockpile elimination.

One of seven chemical stockpile sites currently managed by the U.S. Army Chemicals Materials Agency, Newport is the third site to complete stockpile destruction. Projected to close in summer 2010, the NECD land will then be controlled by the Newport Chemical Depot Reuse Authority, a local planning group. The closure process began in 2008.

Wabash Valley Visions and Voices, based at the Indiana State University Cunningham Memorial Library, exists to document and preserve the region's history and heritage in print, pictures and sound.

"It is exciting for us to have this new collection," May said.

Wabash Valley Visions and Voices is the only archive in the state with this collection, which consists of 51 pieces, including documents of fact sheets, photographs and video footage of the last container being removed from the site.

The Newport Chemical Depot archive can be found under "Special Collections" and has been set up so people can search either topical or by document, photograph or video with external links to the chemical depot Web site.

To view the project, visit http://visions.indstate.edu/visions/necd.html.

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Contact: Cinda May, Wabash Valley Visions and Voices Digital Memory Project, project coordinator, at 812-237-2534 or cinda.May@indstate.edu

Media contact: Jennifer Sicking, Indiana State University, assistant director of media relations, at 812-237-7972 or Jennifer.Sicking@indstate.edu

Writer: Lana Schrock, Indiana State University, media relations assistant, at 812-237-3773 or lschrock1@indstate.edu