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.
La Première Guerre mondiale dans les Archives de la Planète
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.
ECPAD: Première guerre mondiale
The multimedia project 14 – Tagebücher des Ersten Weltkrieg [14 – Diaries of the First World War] brings together diaries of German and French soldiers and civilians to tell the story of the First World War through their eyes. Some of the diaries were written by children. A television series based on 14 diaries and produced by several European networks will be launched on April 29, 2014, both in Germany (Das Erste) and France (ARTE). On the website recordings of texts from these diaries made for radio broadcasts will be added. To illustrate to the series in which stories are played by actors rare (colour) photographs will be used, too. The German website has a French companion website, 14 – Des armes et des mots [14 – Weapons and words].
14 – Tagebücher des Ersten Weltkrieg
The digital collection Autochromes de la guerre 1914-1918 has been created as a section of the French portal Médiathèque de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine. Among image collections concerning the First World War this is one of the most renown. The photographs were taken in France, Tunisia and Greece. The collection illustrates also the role and presence of African soldiers. Apart from the colour photographs the portal has a general section on the First World War, the Archives photographiques: Guerre de 14-18. Both collections can only be viewed in French. In the online database Base Mémoire for the images in the Archives photographiques you can use an advanced search mode with multiple fields, but also a free text search (recherche libre).
The images in this collection appear also elsewhere, for example at the portal The Great War and at World War I Color Photos, with comments in English which sometimes give more information than the original French comments. The collection appeared also at the digital portal Gallica of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, but it has been removed. World War I Color Photos has arranged the images according to the sets at Gallica. The main other digital collection with French autochromes from the Grande Guerre is available at the website of the ECPAD, discussed here, too.
Autochromes de la guerre 1914-1918