6:51am

Tue June 7, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Online Database Trip Back in Time

Imagine the process of documenting all the objects you own - from coffee mugs to individual pieces of clothing - and you've got an idea of the work underway at the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort. "Every single artifact is getting a photograph, getting measured, getting re-cataloged, a new condition description, and then put online." KHS recently launched its Objects Catalog, and curator Bill Bright says more artifacts are going online.

Just in time for Monday's 67th anniversary of D-Day, the catalog includes several of pieces from Dr. Willis P. McKee, who was a captain with the 101st Airborne Division during World War II.

"We've got the first V-mail that came out on June 7th from him. That's one of the pieces in the collection as well as a piece of the parachute that he jumped on D-Day with and his medical bag that he jumped with."

Database users can search for artifacts by typing in a keyword, and a picture and description of the item pops up. If you type in D-Day, the database shows a green piece of canvas with "The Fighting Falcon" painted on it.

"The Fighting Falcon was the glider that carried Brigadier General Pratt in on D-Day. Arguably it's one of the first gliders to touch ground in Europe during the invasion," says Bright.

Unfortunately, the Fighting Falcon crashed on landing and Pratt was killed. The piece of canvas was saved by a Captain McKee and donated last year to the Kentucky Historical Society.