At the Oct. 28 meeting of Richard H. Stewart Jr. American Legion Post 543, held at the St. James Community Center, the membership listened attentively to Matthew Peek, military collections archivist for the State Archives of North Carolina, and John Cope, who has worked for 16 years as an associate curator for the Military Collection of the North Carolina Museum of History. One of their missions is to locate items and photographs from all branches of the military in North Carolina from the Revolutionary War to date. A lively and very interesting discussion ensued.
Cope began working as an exhibit designer at the North Carolina Museum of History. His area of responsibility is from the end of World War I to the present day. Cope also serves on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Military Historical Society. His father is a Vietnam War veteran whose career in the Army moved John through many duty stations during his formative years. This has kindled a deep interest in the military, a respect for its veterans and a desire to help tell their stories.
Matthew Peek began as the military collections archivist for the State Archives of North Carolina in November 2014. He is a native of northeast Ohio, although his family has roots in Kentucky and North Carolina. He holds a B.A. in history and an M.A. in public history from Wright State University, and is near completion of a library science master’s degree in digital archival preservation from Kent State University. Peek has worked and volunteered for a number of city, county, state and corporate archives and historical societies in three states. He comes to the State Archives from the Montana Historical Society, where he worked on a grant to organize and describe unidentified photograph and film collections of a Montana U.S. senator. Peek has researched and written historical publications and programs for several historical societies. He has conducted formal and informal interviews with military veterans in Ohio and Montana, and has researched and written on the Civil War, World War I and World War II.
Photo credit: John Muuss Photographic Artist Inc.