The digital project Diário da Grande Guerra: testemunhos portugueses [Diary of the Great War: Portuguese testimonies] has been created in 2014 by the Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal in Lisbon as a part of its Biblioteca Nacional Digital. In this project entries for each day of the First World War show selected items such as photographs, sheet music, newspaper clippings and maps, which thus create a kind of current digital diary. Each day new items are being added in a Today In History rhythm; in 2016 you could not yet access materials for 1917 and 1918. The news shown came also from outside Portugal, and helps documenting the perception in Portugal of the First World War. The project can only be viewed in Portuguese.
The digital collection Første Verdenskrig: Kort [Maps of the First World War] has been created by Det Kongelige Bibliotek in Copenhagen, the Danish national library. This collection contains some 170 maps made in Denmark during the First World War and during its immediate aftermath. There are seven sections. Four atlases deal successively with the 1921 border between Denmark and Germany (63 maps), the city of Flensburg (9 maps), four statistical maps for the province of South Jutland, and a general atlas of the Great War (20 maps). The other sections contain maps for Africa (2 maps), Denmark (9 maps) and Europe (78 maps). There are also some German and British maps with a clear propagandistic aim.
The virtual presentation ECPAD: Première guerre mondiale is part of the ECPAD portal, the website of the Établissement de Communication et de Production Audiovisuelle de la Défense in Ivry-sur-Seine, the communication branch of the French defense ministry. At its portal ECPAD presents a selection of videos and photographs from its vast collection of First World War items, some 110,000 photographs (97,000 of them in the series SPA) and 2,000 films (series 14.18) which all have been digitized for the centenary of the Grande Guerre. One can consult the digitized items at the mediathèque in the old fortress Fort d’Ivry or order digitized images. ECPAD offers a very brief overview of its original audivisual collection created between 1915 and 1915, a general overview of materials from private collections concerning the Grande Guerre (PDF), and also succinct overviews of their First World War materials for a number of countries in Europe, Africa and Asia, and a set of fiches for each French département.
The online selection touches upon many themes in a wide variety of resources, among them for example coloured photographs (autochromes, 25 images in the selection, mainly to be found in the AUL series) and some 20,000 stereoscopic images (photographies stéréoscopiques, series D2 and D198), images of Russian soldiers in France, of prisoners of war, of the first American soldiers arriving in 1918, exercising army units, and much more. Only seven stereoscopic images are available online (animated versions).
There are only a few digital collections with French autochromes from the First World War. The main other collection is at the Mediathèque de l ‘Architecture et du Patrimoine, discussed also here. Parts of both collections appear also elsewhere. A third major collection is held at the Musée départemental Albert Kahn in Boulogne-Billancourt. The virtual exhibition of this museum is described here. At Arago-Le Portail de la Photographie you find more about several early techniques for colour photographs.
The digital portal Portal des Bundesarchivs zum Ersten Weltkrieg has been created by the Bundesarchiv, the German national archives in Koblenz. The portal offers access to digitized inventories and archival records on a wide range of themes. You can browse galleries about special themes, such as the reaction of Germany to the assassination in Sarajevo in 1914 or the German presence in China (Tsingtao). You can look at digitized photographs, including panoramic images (Panoramabilder), and movies. Searching in online archival inventories (online finding aids) is possible using the Invenio system. This system presents also the digitized items. Some 700,000 pages have been digitized. The portal helps also genealogical research (Ahnensuche). Among the rarities are four sound recordings (Tonaufnahmen). The portal is only accessible in German.
The digital collection Monumenti italiani della Grande Guerra [Monuments of the Great War] has been created by the Museo civico del Risorgimento (MCR) in Bologna and the Museo Storico Italiano della Guerra in Rovereto (Trentino). This collection gives access to digitized images of and records about Italian memorials of the First World War, both in Italy and in other countries, such as present day Albania, Austria, Belgium, France, Hungary, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia and Switzerland, even in Egypt, Libia and Somalia.
You can search using a free text field (ricerca libera) or the advanced search mode (ricerca avanzata) with fields for province and state (provinza/stato), towns (comuni), location (località), sculptor (scultore) and date of realization (data realizzazione). When you choose Sfoglia you can browse the entire collection with some 4300 images of memorials in 1600 towns and villages. This digital collection is only accessible in Italian.
The MCR has two more digital collections about the First World War, one on victims of war from Bologna and an image collection. The museum in Rovereto has at its website an extensive web directory for museums in the region Trentino, and for First World War museums in Italy and elsewhere.
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.
The section Academic Joy – Theses Repositories is a part of a portal with several links sections for academic theses in open access repositories all over the world. Academic Joy is a portal for Ph.D. students. You can choose repositories from a general overview or navigate maps for Europe, Asia, Africa, the United States of America and Canada. The lists are fairly exhaustive but sometimes repositories have not been included. The list here below gives an overview of the some of the most important repositories with the widest coverage. A number of missing repositories in Belgium and The Netherlands are indicated below.
- Open Archives Initiative (OAIster)
- DART Theses – Europe
- DIVA – theses from 26 Scandinavian universities
- Österreichische Dissertationsdatenbank – Austria
- ETHOS – United Kingdom – a service of the British Library
- Thèses – France
- Dissonline – Germany
- Bictel – Belgium (French)
- NARCIS – Netherlands
- Theses Canada – a directory and repository
- TROVE – the portal of the Australian National Library can be tuned, too, to find theses
- New Zealand Educational Theses Database
Some repositories focus on history:
- American Historical Association: History Dissertations – a directory to theses
- Swiss Ph.D. dissertations and M.A. theses in history
Some directories will guide you to theses:
Belgium and The Netherlands
For Belgium one can consult M.A. theses in Flemish at Ethesis and Flemish B.A. theses in the Vlaamse Scriptiebank; both websites have an interface in Dutch and English. For the Netherlands one can add Scripties van de Nederlandse Universiteiten for M.A. theses, and the Igitur Archive for Ph.D. and M.A. theses defended at Utrecht University. B.A. and M.A. theses written at Dutch Higher Education institutions can be retrieved from the HBO Kennisbank. The Dutch term for the First World War is Eerste Wereldoorlog.
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.
The virtual exhibition La Grande Guerre en dessins presents drawings by French artists created during the First World War. The website is a personal initiative and brings you eighty drawings. You can view drawings selected around several themes, such as the Gare de l’Est in 1914, the colonial troops, and drawings of soldiers (poilus). You can use the gallery view to select the works of an artist (click on Chercher). Each drawing gets a commentary, and there are links to more information about artists and subjects. A melancholic piece for viola, cello and piano accompanies the art works; you can turn off the sound using the buttons in the right corner. The website is in French.
The website of the Great War in Africa Association functions as a focus point for scholars researching the British military campaigns in Africa during the First World War. The website covers numerous aspects of these campaigns. The section on sources and literature is useful, as is the page with weblinks. Links to image collections are mentioned on a separate page. The WW1 East Africa Study Pack is a concise research guide for students, with even a selection of digitized documents from the National Archives at Kew.