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 propaganda raid on Vienna on August 9, 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 digital portal Discovering Anzacs is the fruit of cooperation between the National Archives of Australia and the Archives of New Zealand. The portal brings together government archival records concerning the participation of soldiers from Australia and New Zealand during the First World War, in particular at Gallipoli, and also in the Boer War in South Africa. You can browse records, read group stories, follow the timelines or look for particular locations using an interactive map. The image gallery contains photographs stemming from a crowdsourcing action. With the advanced search mode you can tune your search questions. Under Learn you will find educational resources.
At the Anzac Portal you can find more links to websites and portals about the Anzacs.
The digital collection Gallipoli – Century Ireland is part of the Century Ireland project of RTE, the Irish radio and television. This project concerning the Irish involvement in the First World War focuses on the Irish soldiers serving in the expedition to Gallipoli. In the collection you will find maps, aerial photographs and galleries with photos, drawings, works of art and posters. There are entries from regimental diaries and eyewitness accounts. The guides lead you to themes such as the home front, decorations for courageous actions, remembrance, the role of the Royal Navy and the Turkish army. There are also are interviews with historians, videos and films. Educational resources are also presented in this collection, and there is a section with a bibliography and links to relevant websites.
Gallipoli – Century Ireland
The digital collection The Walter Koessler Project is a blog created by Dean Putney presenting a selection from the thousand photographs taken privately during the First World War by his great-grandfather Walter Koessler, a German officer. His photographs show many sides of the German army, including training and aircraft. Koessler himself made aerial photographs, too. Among the photographs yet to be digitized are hundred stereoscopic images. After the First World War Koessler became an architect in Los Angeles. Thanks to crowdfunding his great-grandson could publish the large format book Walter Koessler 1914-1918: The personal photo journal of a German officer in World War I with some of the aerial photographs.
The Walter Koessler Project
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.
Immagini della Grande Guerra
The digital collection Album numérique 14-18 has been created by the Centre Images Lorraine in Nancy. On this website with some 15,000 images you can browse photographs from the Lorraine region. Lorraine (Lothringen) bordered on Germany; in fact between 1871 and 1918 it belonged to Germany. The collection presents images and documents organized by several themes concerning the First World War, such as the home front , daily life in the trenches – with for example attention to the use of animals and transport -, images of the war, the realities of war (aircraft, weapons, industry) and remembrance.
Among the images are some 2,100 stereoscopic photographs shown in red-cyan 3D vision which can be selected by choosing 3D Relief. Apart from images there are some 200 records with letters, diaries and poetry, and nearly 100 objects. You can also conduct a geographical search. In the advanced search mode you can also select images from the database Images de Lorraine. In particular the number of images concerning aircraft (aéronautique) and aerial photographs (photographies aériennes) is interesting. You can find them using the free text search (libre). The collection will be extended by crowdsourcing until 2018. The website is only accessible in French.
Album numérique 14-18
The digital collection Bildbestand der Deutschen Kolonialgesellschaft (DKG) [Image collection of the German Colonial Society] has been created at the Universitätsbibliothek Frankfurt am Main. The DKG existed from 1887 to 1936. The 50,000 images in this collection have been made in several countries, mainly in Africa (Togo, Cameroun, Namibia, Burundi, Tanzania and Rwanda), China, Papua-Guinea (Irian Barat) and several islands in the Pacific Ocean (Marshall Islands, Carolines, Nauru, Mariana Islands and West-Samoa). You can search the images (Recherche im Bildarchiv) for creators, subjects, regions, persons, tribes and nations, and free text. You can turn on a search mode in English. The Erweiterte Suche allows you to create your own combinations of search fields.
On the website of the DKG image collection you can also read a digital version of the Deutsches Kolonial-Lexikon, Heinrich Schnee (ed.) (3 vol., Leipzig 1920). This reference work has many maps and illustrations. At the website of the UB Frankfurt am Main you can read background information about the DKG collection, and also download a PDF (125 MB) of a study about Namibia by Wilhelm R. Schmidt, Deutsch-Südwest-Afrika : Fotos aus der Kolonialzeit 1884 – 1918 (Frankfurt am Main 2001). Among the e-docs of this library you can browse also some 250 digitized books from the collection of the Kolonialbibliothek; a number of them was published before or during the First World War. The UB Frankfurt am Main hosts also ILISS Africa, the Internet Library Sub-Saharan Africa.
Bildbestand der Deutschen Kolonialgesellschaft
The online finding aid and virtual collection Bildsammlung Palästina has been created by the Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv in Munich. This collection contains some 2,100 aerial photographs and 400 other photographs – the last mainly made in Palestine, but also in Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Serbia – taken in 1917 and 1918 by the Bayerische Fliegerabteilung 304, a unit of the Bavarian Army for aerial reconnaissance.
The digitized images have been divided in five main sections: images of the coastal area; the mountains from Lebanon to the Hebron; the valley of the Jordan; Eastern Jordany, and other photographs taken on the ground. The photographs show information about the fronts in the Middle East, but they are also important for the archaeology of the region. The collection can be searched with a free text search field, and you can browse the five sections. The website is accessible in German. In the last section you will find also images of the Bavarian pilots and their unit.
A recent article by Wilhelm Füßl, ‘Luftbildfotografie im Ersten Weltkrieg’ at Visual History gives you more information about German aerial photographs from the First World War.
The digital collection World War I Maps & Aerial Photography is an initiative of the McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. The collection contains some 400 maps of the fronts in France and Belgium, most of them made by the British Ordnance Survey, including trench maps. The scales of most maps are 1:10,000, 1:20,000 and 1:40,000. In a second part of this section, Other theatres of war, you can find maps for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia. The second section of the digital collection is formed by some 500 aerial photographs, most of them taken in 1917 and 1918 by the Royal Air Force. In the section References & Links you will find some titles of relevant literature and some links to other websites with maps concerning the First World War. A number of case studies help using the maps and photographs.
World War I Maps & Aerial Photography
The portal Mémoires de la Somme – Archives en ligne: Grande Guerre brings you to the joined digital collections concerning the First World War of the Archives départementales de la Somme in Amiens and the Historial de la Grande Guerre in Péronne. A section of the portal is dedicated to documents related to the First World War. You can enter a free text search using the recherche simple, and you can use the recherche avancée, an advanced search with multiple fields to look for all kind of documents. The archives portal has also separate search interfaces for civil registration records (État civil), census and recruiting records (censements), images, maps (plans), diaries (témoignages), buildings (patrimoine), books, newspapers and magazines (livres et presse). An online research guide, Rechercher dans les documents de la Grande Guerre (PDF), contains useful information about the 2,700 digitized photographs of soldiers and their daily life, 630 images of memorials in the Somme region, 75 documents on the reconstruction of the region after 1918, and two small photograph collections. Among the photographs are aerial photographs of the Somme front. The portal can only be viewed in French
Mémoires de la Somme – Archives en ligne: Grande Guerre