The digital collection Feldpost aus dem Ersten Weltkrieg [Letters from the front during the First World War] has been created by the Museumsstiftung Post und Telekommunikation (MFK) as a part of their online letter collections (Briefsammlungen). This collection contains some 700 letters written by soldiers during the First World War, a selection from the holdings kept at the Museum für Kommunikation Berlin, a branch of the MFK. Letters were subject to censorship, but nevertheless they formed a vital connection between the fronts and the home front. You can search the collection by themes, geography and sets (Konvolute), filter by dates (Zeitraum) or enter search terms in the free text search field. The online collection gives you transcripts of the letters. They can be read in connection with the volume Schreiben im Krieg / Schreiben vom Krieg [Writing in wartime, writing about war]. The collection can only be viewed in German.
The digital collection Three Pilots – One War is the fruit of a partnership between the Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr (Berlin-Gatow), the Royal Air Force Museum (London) and the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace in Le Bourget. You can follow the First World War through the letters of three pilots, the Frenchman Jean Chaput, the Englishman Bernard Rice – who had served earlier as a messenger – and the German Peter Falkenstein. The letters are published here in day-to-day order exactly 100 years after they were written. Historical comments accompany each letter. The three museums will organize exhibitions between 2014 and 2019 to highlight aspects of the aircraft warfare during the First World War. You can view this collection in English, French and German.
The virtual exhibition La Première Guerre mondiale dans les Archives de la Planète has been created by the Musée Départemental Albert Kahn in Boulogne-Billancourt and the cultural department of the département Hauts-de-Seine, in cooperation with ECPAD and the Mission Centenaire 14-18.
Albert Kahn (1860-1940) was a Parisian banker with great cultural interests, and also a pacifist with international contacts. One of his foundations was the Archives de la planète. During the First World War its staff made numerous photographs, among them rare colour photos (autochromes), and films. In a late phase of the war they worked together with the Section cinematographique et photographique de l’armee. The virtual exhibition has three main sections. The first section Regarder looks at the front, the civilians, the devastation and the aftermath of the First World War. The second section Comprendre (Understand) is the educational part of this exhibition. The third section Valoriser shows the background to the autochromes and films. This virtual exhibition can only be viewed in French.
In the digital collections of the Musée départemental Albert Kahn you can select some 16,900 photographs of the First World War (Thèmes: Première guerre mondiale), and use additional filters for specific themes, location and creator. There is also an interactive map to find images concerning a particular location.
The virtual exhibition Jutland 1916 accompanies an exhibition starting in 2016 of the National Royal Navy Museum in Portsmouth at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. The core of the small virtual exhibition to commemorate the naval battle of Jutland on May 31-June 1, 1916 is an interactive map which you can tune to focus on sailors, ships, places or memorials. You can also search directly using the free text search. The virtual exhibition contains a number of videos and some image galleries. There is also some background information and a concise bibliography about the events in 1916, their impact and context.
The virtual exhibition 14-18, une guerre photographique has been created by the Musée Nicéphore Niépce in Chalon-sur-Saône, a museum for the history of photography. This virtual exhibition has two sections. The first section, Le Miroir, une revue photographique, Août 1914-Décembre 1919 contains some 280 issues of this weekly published illustrated journal. The explicit goal of this journal during the First World War was to strengthen the links between soldiers and the general public, and to support the war efforts. The second section, Les yeux de la guerre, vues stéréoscopiques [The eyes of the war: stereoscopic views] contains nearly 700 stereoscopic photographs taken during the First World War. These images are organized along a number of themes. In order to view the images with a 3D-effect you have to install the Unity 3D plugin. For viewing the stereoscopic effect you will need stereoscopic glasses (red/blue). The website can be viewed in French or English.
The digital collection Immagini della Grande Guerra [Images of the Great War] has been created by the Museo civico del Risorgimento (MCR) in Bologna. From the holdings of this museum for Italian history some 2,250 photographs have been digitized. They were made both by amateur and professional photographers, working in the army, in the administration or elsewhere. You can search with a free text field (Ricerca libera), use an advanced mode with fields for title (titolo), subject (soggetto), location (soggetto geografico) and persons (soggetto biografico). or browse the collection (Sfoglia). Among the images are some 100 aerial photographs (search for foto aerea). The collection is accompanied by a bibliography on First World War photography. This digital collection can only be viewed in Italian.
The MCR has two more digital collections concerning the First World War, for Italian war memorials and on victims of war from Bologna.
The virtual exhibition 1914-18: Hverdagsliv i krigens skygge [Daily life in the shadow of war] is an educational project created by the Greve Museum in Greve, the Greve Gymnasium and the Skoletjenesten Københavns Befæstning in Copenhagen. The portal can be visited by browsing the various themes, such as Denmark’s neutrality, soldiers´ life, food and daily life, technology and tactics, and fortifications. Images and texts illustrate each theme. There is a useful dictionary (ordliste) of important terms. For teachers there is additional information. The portal is accessible in Danish.
The digital collection of the Photographic Archive at the Museum for the Macedonia Struggle (Ίδρυμα Μουσείου Μακεδονικού Αγώνα) in Thessaloniki contains some 5,600 photographs documenting the various wars on the Balkan and in Greece during the last quarter of the nineteenth century and the early years of the twentieth century. Photographs from the First World War are also present in this digital collection. For each image an English translation has been provided. You can search the collection only with a free text search. Items from the First World War will be retrieved by entering a specific year. You can view the website, the library catalogue of the museum and the images in Greek and English.
The virtual exhibition Vedere la Grande Guerra: Immagini della prima guerra mondiale has been created by the Museo per la Storia del Risorgimento Italiano in Rome. This online exhibition offers image selections on many subjects (percorsi tematici):
- Arte e guerra (Art and war)
- Donne e guerra (Women and war)
- Il lutto e la memoria (The struggle and memory)
- L’immagine della guerra (The image of the war)
- La memoria moderna (Modern memory)
- L’occhio del nemico (The eye of the enemy)
You can also browse several image galleries (gallerie fotografiche) on a number of themes, or watch a small number of videos. This virtual exhibition can only be visited with an interface in Italian.
The website of the Imperial War Museums (IWM) brings you to the five locations and the various collections of one of the world’s largest war museums. Apart from the main museum in London there are branches in London-North, the Churchill War Rooms and the HMS Belfast in London, and a branch in Duxford. The website provides you with detailed information about the collections, research, exhibits, and educational activities. You can search the collections online with a keyword search or for particular objects, ranging from letters, diaries, interviews, images – including stereoscopic photographs in original formats – and books to aircraft, weapons and toys. For some 90,000 items of the total of 800,000 items you will find digitized materials. Some sixty concise illustrated dossiers on subjects related to the First World War help placing objects in their historical context. The IWM portal has a special section on the centenary of the First World War, and the IWM is also the leading institution of the British First World War Centenary portal. In July 2014 the main museum reopens with a new First World War gallery.
The IWM has also created an online database for searching among the 60,000 war memorials in the United Kingdom, Another IWM website concerning the First World War is Operation War Diary, a project dealing with digitized unit diaries in cooperation with the British National Archives at Kew. At Flickr the IWM is present with Faces of the First World War, photographic portraits of soldiers and officers. Lives of the First World War is a project to bring materials together about daily life between 1914 and 1918, with both items from the holdings of archives, libraries and museums, and items presented by the public in a crowdsourcing project.