Army Benevolent Fund


The Army Benevolent Fund was a project from the Military Archives. This project consisted of a large amount of files that were previously stored in a shed, and therefore needed irradiation before they could be processed. These folders contained appeals to the military by veterans and family members of veterans for consideration to receive payments from the Army Benevolent Fund, intended to assist veterans and families in paying for school books, communion needs, rent help, and general financial support. Each file contained information on one soldier and the correspondence, forms, notes, postal orders, and decisions made by the Benevolent Fund committee regarding the payouts. 

These files were first alphabetized, then de-metaled, re-housed, and entered into an Excel catalogue to facilitate moving into the Military Archives’ internal catalogue system. This sheet was created with input from the Archive to ensure the fields they needed were covered. A large amount of arrangement and cleaning was needed for these files, since their condition was so poor. Smoke sponges and other cleaning materials, as well as a large amount of Military Archives specific boxes and acid-free folders were needed to complete this work. Treasury tags and plastic paperclips were the fasteners used to replace rusted staples and paperclips that existed in the collection. 

About 6,000 files were processed when the project finished. The boxes and files were transferred back to the Military Archives and are now part of their holdings. 


All photos are examples of damage present in the collection before processing.