Preserving DoDEA's History
Throughout its 75 year history, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) has undergone many changes. Each of its organizational entities, past and present, has a rich and proud history of service to military families. Every employee (past or present) and every student or alumnus is an integral part of DoDEA's history.
While DoDEA has had many names over the years and still has different names in our guiding legislation (DoDDS, DDESS), its school system today has in fact been a unified one since 1994 under one organization, DoDEA. To many of our graduates and former employees, we'll always be DSS, DoDDS or DDESS or one of our many other names used in the past.
It is important for us to honor the rich history and traditions of DoDEA's past and preserve the history of past names and accomplishments. It is equally important for us to move ahead as a unified organization that comprises one world-wide school system, one team, one mission that continues to deliver a quality education to military-connected children around the globe.
DoDEA has partnered with the American Overseas Schools Historical Society (AOSHS), a non-profit organization based in Wichita, Kansas, to collect, record, preserve, and exhibit historical school memorabilia.
The preservation of DoDEA’s history is a legacy for future generations. For the millions of Americans who were educated overseas and in DoD schools stateside since 1946, pieces of history could disappear forever – yearbooks, trophies, letter jackets, class pictures, time capsules, school flags and mascots. As schools close down, those artifacts and memorabilia go away too.
DoDEA’s partnership with AOSHS endeavors to keep the memories alive.
Yearbooks and Memories
School yearbooks reflect the events and lives of students and adults involved with a school for a given school year. They capture moments, memories, events, and faces that are frozen in time. They help people associated with our schools to recall the DoDEA experiences that often had a lasting and profound impact on their lives.
AOSHS On-line Yearbook Project
The American Overseas Schools Historical Society (AOSHS), has a project underway to scan and digitize yearbooks for our schools, past and present. It is a project that will help preserve and recall those memories for many years to come.
AOSHS is working to catalog a complete collection of yearbooks from every school. AOSHS will digitize your yearbook and will return your yearbook(s) with the utmost care in a timely manner. DoDEA Administrative Instruction 4160.1, "Disposal of Department of Defense Dependents Schools Memorabilia," allows school personnel to ship the yearbook(s) (and other memorabilia) to AOSHS at government expense.
AOSHS Point of Contact for this project:
DoDEA is proud to partner with AOSHS to provide searchable online yearbooks. The efforts to collect, record, and preserve the unique history of educating American military-connected children will enhance public knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the contributions to military families made by DoDEA employees and their students. The Yearbook Project will help us immensely in that regard, enabling the wider DODEA community to have virtual access to materials in the archives.
Do have treasures you’d like to share with current and former staff and students of DoDEA, DDESS, or DODDS?
Send the American Overseas Schools Historical Society (AOSHS) a box of your memorabilia and they will record, digitize, archive, and display them online and in the museum for the delight of past and future generations.
For reference, below is a list of items AOSHS accepts and doesn’t accept as donations.
The American Overseas School Historical Society is looking for donations of DoDEA school memorabilia to keep our history alive!
- Artwork with location and date on it
- Awards, class rings, diaries of school events, dissertations, and school journals (not vacation)
- Letter jackets or other discernible clothing (cheerleading, mascots, band, etc.)
- Magazines that feature student accomplishments; either military or host nation
- News clippings with details of publication and date
- Photographs with identification of person(s), location and date
- Presentations to visiting dignitaries
- School records
- Documented information about the mission of a School, District or Region
- Trophies with specific details of school, event, year
- Videos or like of school functions and/or events
- Items that are readily available elsewhere, such as commercially published magazines or textbooks
- Broken artifacts, unreadable documents and other material that are too damaged to be of historical value
- Personal diaries, videos or disks of holiday or summer vacations
- Personnel documents that are disparaging to an individual/s or that contain any personally identifiable information
- Souvenirs from foreign countries unless school or educationally related
Send your items to AOSHS at the following address:
American Overseas Schools Historical Society
704 W. Douglas Avenue
Wichita, KS 67203
All donations must include a completed and signed Property Donations Form inside each box of items sent to AOSHS.
For further questions regarding property donations, please email the AOSHS office at email@example.com or call 316-265-6837 to verify if the items/s you want to donate are appropriate for the archives.
Note: If any information needs to be changed/added please send us an email.