Continuing with our series on the Theodore Roosevelt blog to highlight our volunteers and what they bring to our digital library project. Our second volunteer is John from Chelsea, Alabama.
John was born in Billings, Montana. He went on to graduate from Assumption Abbey in Richardton, North Dakota and then received his BA and advanced degrees from the University of Alabama. He has taught history at all levels, from grade school to university. He also served for 41 years in the United States Navy as a Cryptologist and in International and Strategic Intelligence. Along with his wife Cheryl, Commander Ludwig now resides in Chelsea and Gulf Shores, Alabama.
What motivated you to become a volunteer for the Theodore Roosevelt Digital Library?
My closest friend John G from Richardton [North Dakota] told me about the project and I have been a historian all of my adult life so I jumped at the opportunity.
What has been your favorite part of volunteering?
All of the research into the articles presented. I spent 41 years in the US Navy Intelligence and I love the searching and analyzing.
What has been the most challenging part of volunteering?
The “horrible” handwriting of the early 1900s. Wow! And finding time to devote to the task.
Tell us a little about your favorite “discovery” while cataloging.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the international aspects of the research, especially in some of the Third World countries as they were developing and we know some of the results today. The insights of those times are exciting.
What do you think a potential volunteer needs to have to know or join in the fun?
A compiling mind; ability to use a vast array of research techniques and approaches; have a historical bent; have the available time to devote to the project; be totally objective – there is no room for subjectivity.
Photo courtesy of John Ludwig