The set of thematic research guides for archival research concerning the First World War is part of the Cendari portal for a collective European digital archival infrastructure. The core of the Cendari portal is the creation of a directory of archives in Europe and their collections. A second service is the creation of archival research guides. In this section you can find sixteen guides concerning the First World War. These guides deal for instance with prisoners of war, the importance of diaries and personal narratives, the role of women, religion, coercion in the armies, medicine and workers’ movements. Poland and Russia are among the countries receiving particular attention. There are also nine similar guides for research on medieval history and (religious) culture.
Thematic research guides for archival research – Cendari
The digital project Transcribathon Europeana 1914-1918 is an initiative of the platform Europeana. In this crowdsourcing project the general public is invited to transcribe letters, postcards and diaries or to annotate pictures within the digital collections at Europeana 1914-1918. On this multilingual website some 50,000 items have been prepared for transcribing or annotating. There are tutorials in nine languages. You can start working with items after registration. There is a educational section for using this project in schools. You can choose items from an interactive maps, browse for items in a particular language or focus on a particular topic. Each year a number of transcribathons (transcribing sessions) are held in European cities.
Transcribathon Europeana 1914-1918
The blog Der Erste Weltkrieg in Selbstzeugnissen [The First World War in Eyewitness Accounts] is a project of the Sammlung Frauennachlässe of the Universität Wien (Vienna). The documents are presented at the blog Salon21 of this research platform for women’s history and documents of women with some 400 collections in its holdings. On the blog excerpts from diaries, postcards or complete letters written by women are presented in a day-to-day sequence following the years 1914 to 1918 exactly one hundred years later. Women corresponded with each other, or they wrote to soldiers at the front and vice versa. There are documents by mothers, sisters, school girls and friends.
The Sammlung Frauennachlässe is a member of the network European Diaries Archives and Collections. The institute has created a rich links collection on women history, relevant research institutes and documentary collections with diaries and letters.
Der Erste Weltkrieg in Selbstzeugnissen
The website 14/18: Lyon dans la guerre has been created as part of the Archives en ligne [Online Archives] of the Archives municipales de Lyon. This website brings you to six digitized collections: deliberations of the city council, soldiers who were killed in action and earned the mention Mort pour la France, postcards, war diaries, posters and the experience of workers. The section with the diaries can also be reached separately as Les carnets de Barthélémy Mermet. The collections are accompanied by a general overview of Lyon during the First World War, and dossiers with information about numerous themes from archival records and items in the archive. The collections can only be viewed in French.
14/18: Lyon dans la guerre
The digital collection Cultural exchange in a time of global conflict. Colonials, neutrals and belligerents during the First World War: Sourcebook has been created by the team of the international CEBG project. This digital collection aiming at students in higher education offers a selection of sources from various holdings. You can select items for particular themes or choose a source genre, use the free search field or use the advanced search mode.
Cultural exchange in a time of global conflict. Colonials, neutrals and belligerents during the First World War: Sourcebook
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.
Three Pilots – One War
The digital collection Our/Your War Stories has been created by the State Library of New South Wales in Sydney. This digital collection has as its focus diaries and letters written during the First World War by men and women serving with the Australian forces. On this website you can read transcriptions of diaries and letters, or listen to recorded extracts of them. You can also choose from preset themes – e.g. animals, daily life, prisoners of war, children, love and friendship – to look for a particular subject. Only half of the diaries and letters brought together has been transcribed, the general public is asked to help transcribing them in a crowdsourcing project. There are sections for teachers, a reading list and an overview of links to websites with related projects.
Our/Your War Stories
The digitized collection of the Fairbank Papers is part of the Cambridge Digital Library. (Harold Arthur) Thomas Fairbank was born in 1876. He became the first English orthopaedic surgeon working at Charing Cross Hospital in London. In 1914 he was commissioned in the Royal Army Medical Corps. He served in Flanders (Ypres, Loos), France and Macedonia, and he advised also the British Salonika Force. The Fairbank Papers (GB0012 Add 10082/1 to 100082/10) consist of diaries, photographic albums and glass plate negatives. His diaries and photographs show the horrors of the First World War, but there was also space for moments of recreation, playing in pantomimes.
The digital project La Grande Collecte [The Great Collect] was an initiative in 2013 and 2014 launched by the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Archives de France and the Mission Centenaire 1914-1918. In this crowdsourcing project the aim was inviting the general public to bring sources from their private collections to the regional archives in order to digitize and publish them on a separate online platform. You can use the free text search field to search the results at will, use an advanced search mode (Recherche avancée) or filter them by the type of document (official publications, correspondence, diaries, photographs and drawings). In its present state this digital collections contains for these categories only a few dozen examples; there are some 130 photographs. The collection can only be accessed in French.
In 2018 the number of items was still relatively low, with for example 300 postcards and 200 photographs.
La Grande Collecte
The digital collection Plateforme 14-18 is an educational project created by a team from many major French cultural institutions. The core of the collection are some 3,500 letters written by eight members of the Résal family, some diaries and 300 photographs. All resources stem from this family and are still kept in the family archive.
Most of the sons of Eugène and Julie Résal served in the French army. Salem and Younès served with the artillery. Louis and Paul, too, started in an artillery regiment, but later they became pilots. Some of the Résal children were born in Algeria. The two daughters did very different things: Meriém became a professional musician, Chérifa a nurse who noted daily events in her agenda during the First World War. You can search for information using the intuitive navigation with symbols for dates, locations, peoples, a clickable map and three main themes: the fronts, men and women, and the impact of modernity. It is also possible to view the personal network of each family member. In the additional materials you can find some films from the holdings of participating institutions. The website can only be viewed in French.