The Smithsonian Institution has created The Great War as a small selection from its digital library. The 28 digitized books cover a wide variety of subjects, from military handbooks, books about the war industry and aircraft to the famous war cartoons of Louis Ramaekers and music. These books were mainly printed in the USA and the United Kingdom.
The digital library of the Smithsonian Libraries contains some 27,000 digitized books on a total of 1,5 million books, and 400,000 smaller publications (ephemera, pamphlets, etc.). You can browse in the digital library for subjects of books. For the subject World War 1914-1918 you will find some 90 digitized books. There is a list of thematic digital book collections.
The Great War
The digital collection First World War: Royal Flying Corps is part of the digitized Special Collections at Wichita State University, Fairmont, KS. This digital collection contains papers from the English brigade general R.M. Groves, notes about the RFC, two albums with aerial photographs showing the region in Flanders around Messines and Passchendaele before and after the battles in 1917, and aerial photographs with a report on a bomb raid on Vienna in 1918 led by the Italian poet Gabriele d’Annunzio. In the accompanying finding aid the materials (three boxes) are concisely described. You can browse this collection, use the free text field search or the advanced search mode.
Wichita State University has also a small general First World War collection, a collection on operations and intelligence of the British First and Second Armies, and twenty letters from British soldiers serving at different fronts.
First World War: Royal Flying Corps
The portal WW1 Centenary University of Oxford has been created by the University of Oxford to offer an easy point of access to its activities and resources concerning the centenary commemorations of the First World War. There are four main sections on the portal, for peoples, places, Oxford First World War resources, and videos and podcasts. The section People shows letters from undergraduates and staff at Oxford, among them J.R.R. Tolkien. The section Places looks at several colleges, at Oxford University Press, Oxford University Officers’ Training Corps, the role of the Morris factory at Cowley, Port Meadow which became the training camp of the Royal Flying Corps, and Didcot, the Central Ordnance Depot.
In the section WW1 Oxford Resources you can find research projects, some of them well-known, for example the First World War Poetry Digital Archive and the contributions of Oxford to the digital portal Europeana 1914-1918. The digital collection Oxford at War 1914-1918 is a crowdsourcing project to collect stories, images and documents. The Bodleian Libraries are the main force in the Oxford World War I Centenary Programme to preserve and digitize materials. To all these riches one can add the WW1 Primary Resources Guide of the Bodleian.
WW1 Centenary University of Oxford
The digital collection Les monuments aux morts, France-Belgique [The monuments for deceased, France-Belgium] is a project created by the Université Lille-3. The monuments included are those for the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871), the First and Second World War, and several wars after 1945. You can select the conflict you search in the dropdown menu of the field Conflit commemoré. The core of this website is a database with many search options, such as country, region, department, former and present community, and even postal code. You can search for the names of people commemorated, select themes (field Mot-clé) or use the simple free text search field (Recherche libre). It is also possible to search for persons involved in creating the monuments (field Auteurs). For most monuments images have been included. For a number of locations essays are provided about the conflicts commemorated. There is a tutorial for using the database. This website can only be consulted in French.
Les monuments aux morts, France-Belgique
The digital collection Les marchés de guerre 14-18 [Markets during the First World War] has been created by the French Ministry of Economic Affairs and its Centre des Archives Économiques et Financières (CAEF) at Savigny-le-Temple. On this website you can chose particular themes concerning French industries and public works (Recherche thematique) or a particular location (Recherche géographique) using an interactive map. A national commission investigated between 1933 and 1940 the workings of markets during the First World War. The section Focus brings you to four dossiers on major firms such as Peugeot and Michelin. The section Sources gives you a chronological overview of French legislation and information about themes such as taxation and war finance. You can also read an essay with background information by Béatrice Touchelay (Université Lille-3). This digital collection can only be viewed in French.
The CAEF has also created a portal site concerning the First World War and the French economy.
Les marchés de guerre 14-18
The digital collection British Soldier’s Wills is a project of the UK government in which some 280,000 soldier’s wills between 1850 and 1996 have been digitized. These wills are part of a general database for probate search in the United Kingdom. The Original wills are kept by Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service (HMCTS). In the simple search mode you can search for name and year of death. The advance search mode adds the possibilty to search also for first names, the day and month of death, and regimental number. You have to register to view the digitized wills, but you can search without registration. The interface of this database is in English.
British Soldier’s Wills
The digital collection Testaments de guerre de poilus parisiens (1914-1918) [War wills of Parisian soldiers, 1914-1918] is a project of the École nationale de Chartes in Paris, the famous French institution for the training of archivists. This collection offers a selection of wills created by soldiers from Paris during the First World War. The 134 wills edited here are kept at the Archives nationales de France. All wills stem from soldiers who died between 1914 and 1918 with the mention Mort pour la France. The collection is accompanied by an introduction, essays on numerous aspects concerning these wills, and a bibliography. You can search for the names of deceased soldiers and for the location of their death. The collections can only be viewed in French.
The École nationale des Chartes has digitized the commemorative publication L’École des Chartes et la Guerre (1914-1918): Livre d’Or (Paris 1921).
Testaments de guerre de poilus parisiens (1914-1918)