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 collection Eestlased Esimeses maailmasõjas [Estonians in the First World War] is a project of the Ravhusarhiiv, the Estonian national archives in Tallinn. This crowdsourcing project aims at getting more information about the around 100,000 Estonian soldiers who served as soldiers in the Russian army during the First World War. Some 10,000 of them never returned home. The section Allikad gives an introduction to archival resources, information about the armed forces and a bibliography. Many archival records are written in Russian. You can search for the names of persons or for locations. Täpsem otsing leads you to the advanced search mode. The button Leia sõdurid kaardilt leads to an interactive map for searching soldiers and locations. The section Kasulikke viiteid contains further web links. The section KKK/Tagasiside should lead to frequently asked questions, but there is only a contact form for asking questions. The project does cover also the Second World War.The website of this project can only be viewed in Estonian.
On the blog of the Ravhuusarhiiv you can read articles about Estonia and the First World War.
Eestlased Esimeses maailmasõjas
The digital collection Deutsche Beuteakten zum Ersten Weltkrieg [Looted German records concerning the First World War] is a project of the Central Archive of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (TsAMO RF). The documents in this collection, divided over 475 units with some 36,000 pages (Bestand 500, Findbuch 12519), stem from several German military authorities, in particular the Generalstab and the Obere Heeresleitung, and from a number of ministries. Among the documents are unit diaries (Kriegstagebuch) and other front reports (Gefechtsberichten), diplomatic documents (nrs. 321-324 deal with the Russo-Japanese war of 1904/05), some 150 maps, some 80 personal dossiers, and a wide variety of other documents, almost all dating from the period 1910-1919. You can search using the free text search or the index search for labels such as number, year, page, and language. This digital collection can be viewed in Russian, German and English.
Deutsche Beuteakten zum Ersten Weltkrieg
The digital collection Maueranschläge (Wall ordinances) has been created by the Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg. After the First World War the German Heeresarchiv (Army Archive) started to collect ordinances posted by the German army and military government, now held at the Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart, series J 151. Some 2,500 of the 2,700 digitized ordinances stem from the First World War. They touch in particular Belgium and France, but also the Habsburg Empire and countries in Eastern Europe such as Poland, Russia and Rumania. For Belgium the ordinances were published in three languages (German-French-Dutch), for France in French and German. Some posterlike ordinances are clearly meant for propaganda aims and are quite colourful. You can browse the digitized images using the Bildexplorer, you can search images freely using the Volltextsuche, or search systematically using the tree structure of the Strukturansicht.
The Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg organizes exhibitions concerning the First World War with the general theme 1914-1918. Erlebt, erlitten, erinnert [1914-1918. Lived, suffered, remembered] in Karlsruhe, Freiburg, Stuttgart and Sigmaringen.
The website of the Austria-Lexikon has been integrated with a new name, the AEIOU Österreich-Lexikon, into the digital portal Austria Forum. The first version of this historical dictionary existed online from 1996 until 2009. The Austria-Lexikon contains articles about persons, events and themes with references to further literature in print and to some online illustrations and maps.
The article on the First World War (Erster Weltkrieg) stresses the events in Eastern Europe. There is a summary version of this article in English. You can search for articles using the free text search or selecting entries in alphabetical order. At Austria-Forum the information of the Austria-Lexikon is supported by a biographical dictionary and the Austria-Wiki, a selection of relevant articles from the German Wikipedia, and by other digital collections. The Austria-Lexikon can be viewed only in German.
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.
Photographic Archive, Museum for the Macedonian Struggle
The virtual exhibition Pirmasis pasaulinis karas: dokumentai liudija [The First World War: documents on show] has been created in 2011 by the National Library of Lithuania in Vilnius. This virtual exhibition has several thematic sections consisting of various materials such as diaries, manuscripts of literary works, decrees documenting daily life under the German occupation, and photographs. Lithuania was occupied by the Germans from 1915 to 1918. The exhibition can only be viewed in Lithuanian.
Pirmasis pasaulinis karas: dokumentai liudija
The website Operacja Lodzka 1914 is a project of the Polish town Lodz to bring together resources showing the history of Lodz during the autumn of 1914 and the battles (the “Great Battle”) fought between the German and Russian armies around Lodz. In the Galeria you will find in particular photographs of soldiers from Lodz. The section Mapy of the main gallery contains some twenty maps of the fronts in Poland. The E-Muzeum is the general gallery of the project with images organized by several themes, The Kalendarium offers an overview of activities commemorating the events of 1914 since 2004.
The website can be viewed in Polish, German, Russian, English and French. You can choose a language by clicking on the flags in the header.
Operacja Lodzka 1914
The website Lexikon Erster Weltkrieg offers a dictionary about the First World War. This dictionary is a project of Iportale, a German firm with a number of general portals and thematic online dictionaries. The online dictionary brings not only alphabetically organized lemmas, but also a summary chronicle (Chronik) of events during the First World War, and a number of image galeries about various fronts, the main generals of the major armies, weapons, aircraft and ships. You can use the free search field for searching the lemmas. The original sources of the images are not indicated.
The website contains also a selection of letters (Feldpost) written by students who served as soldiers at the front and died during service. The letters stem from the often reprinted collection edited by Philipp Witkop, Kriegsbriefe gefallener Studenten (first edition Gotha 1916), translated by A.F. Webb, German Students’ War Letters (2002). The bias of the letters is duly noticed, as is their use for propaganda. The website can only be viewed in German.
Lexikon Erster Weltkrieg
The digital collection André Jeunet Collection – A French soldier in World War I has been created by the University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky. André Jeunet was a French soldier who fought at the front in France, in particular near the Somme and at Verdun, and later also on the Balkan, in particular in Macedonia and near Monastir (Albania). The collection consists of 210 photographs, some postcards, and transcripts of some letters translated into English. Some letters from 1917 contained strong pacifist views. The letters were intercepted by censors and brought Jeunet before a court-martial, which decided to transfer him to the Balkan. You can browse the entire collection, use the free text search mode or use the advanced search mode.
André Jeunet Collection – A French soldier in World War I