The website of the project Tracing the Belgian refugees has been created by the University of Leeds in partnership with the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and University College London. The project aims at creating a database concerning Belgian refugees who came during the First World War to the United Kingdom. Anyone can contribute information about refugees and their lives in exile. The database is supported by a blog, and there are also scholarly events on the research concerning the Belgian refugees. The database has four main fields: name, UK address, date of arrival and date of departure. You can use a general search field or add a new record to the database. The website can only be viewed in English.
The project is associated with the Online Centre for Research on Belgian Refugees.
Tracing the Belgian refugees
La collection photographique “Marcel Chatenay” (1914-1918) [The photographic collection of Marcel Chatenay (1914-1918] has been created by the Archives de la Ville de Saumur. In 2013 and 2014 this municipal archive received two gifts with a total of 2843 stereographic photographs. Marcel Chatenay (1883-1955) had been a grocer before joining the French army in 1914 as an administration officer of the medical troops. On travel he encounters for examples both infantery and artillery units, cavalry and kitchen staff. Chatenay meets also colonial troops. In 1917 he served in the Vosges region. He took pictures in Picardy, Flanders, Verdun and in many other places. 457 stereoscopic images have been digitized, and you can view 52 images in 3 D. You can filter for specific persons, themes and locations.
The Archives de la Ville de Saumur present online two other French digitized photo albums and an American album of a special railway station and camp at Villebernier in 1918-1919.
La collection photographique “Marcel Chatenay” (1914-1918)
The digital collection John Robertson Hawke: World War I letters and artifacts has been created by the University of Wollongong. John Robertson Hawke (1890-1965) was a Scottish immigrant. He worked as a warehouseman before joining in 1915 the Australian Army. He fought in Egypt, France and Belgium (Ypres). He performed in particular communication tasks as a signaller. The collection contains two postcards and 200 letters, mainly written to his parents and family, a pay book and a field medical card. There is a collection guide (collection D55; PDF).
In a second collection you will find letters, postcards, documents and objects from and about another Australian soldier, William George Abate who was killed in action in 1917.
John Robertson Hawke: World War I letters and artifacts
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 collection Les monuments aux morts, France-Belgique [The monuments for deceased, France-Belgium] is a project created by the Université Lille-3. The monuments included are those for the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871), the First and Second World War, and several wars after 1945. You can select the conflict you search in the dropdown menu of the field Conflit commemoré. The core of this website is a database with many search options, such as country, region, department, former and present community, and even postal code. You can search for the names of people commemorated, select themes (field Mot-clé) or use the simple free text search field (Recherche libre). It is also possible to search for persons involved in creating the monuments (field Auteurs). For most monuments images have been included. For a number of locations essays are provided about the conflicts commemorated. There is a tutorial for using the database. This website can only be consulted in French.
Les monuments aux morts, France-Belgique
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 collection Nieuws van de Groote Oorlog [News of the Great War] has been created by thirteen Flemish cultural institutions, among them for example the Vlaamse Erfgoed Bibliotheek [Flemish Heritage Library]. For this project some 360,000 pages from newspapers, journals, pamphlets, manifests and much more published between 1914 and 1918 have been digitized. With 270,000 pages newspapers form the main component of this collection. You can search using the timeline and a clickable map, or browse for particular themes. In the free text field you can search for keywords, names and locations. In 2016 this project will also bring digital versions of twelve newspapers already included in the project The Belgian War Press (view the description). This digital collection can be viewed in Dutch, German, English and French.
Nieuws van de Groote Oorlog
The digital gallery of First World War ‘Official Photographs’ has been created by the National Library of Scotland (NLS), Edinburgh. This collection with some 4,000 photographs is originally part of the Douglas Haig papers (NLS, Acc. 3155 and MSS. 28001-). The digital collection has been divided conveniently in a number of sections, for example images of Field Marshall Earl Douglas Haig himself, the British Western Front, royal visits, images of the British cavalry, of the allied forces, and images created after the Great War. There are also photographs of Germans and images taken in Germany. You can browse the images, use a simple search with a free text field or the advanced search mode.
The NLS has also created a Flickr gallery with nearly 2,000 World War One Official British Photographs. The University of British Columbia has digitized 3,860 images from a similar collection in their holdings.
First World War ‘Official Photographs’
The digital collection Stereoscopic Views, World War I has been created by the Monash University. This collection with some 260 images consists of four subcollections held at Monash University Library Rare Book Collections. You can browse all items by leaving the search field empty, or search for authors, titles and dates. You can view and download the original images. There are no animated versions of them online.
The photographs were published by the Keystone View Company. The descriptions of the images contain the original accompanying texts on the back of the photographs; the backs have been digitized, too. Technical data are provided, but often there is no clear indication of the creator, place and date. Twenty images show the Australian Expeditionary Force. Some images were made after the First World War. Many images depict scenes in France and Belgium, but some photographs were taken elsewhere in Europe or in the United States.
At Great War in 3D you can find information about this series and other Keystone series showing the First World War. Monash University presents also 90 digitized stereoscopic photographs in colour from the Russo-Japanese war.
Stereoscopic Views, World War I
The virtual exhibition Primera Guerra Mundial is a project of the Casa de la Imaginem, an audiovisual archive in Logroño, Spain. At their website the Casa shows some thirty photographs taken by an unidentified French officer during the First World War near Ypres, elsewhere in Flanders, at Arras and at the Somme. They form part of a collection with some 500 stereoscopic photographs discovered in 1999 in Tanger. Alas the virtual exhibition shows of each stereoscopic set just one image, but luckily you can view a four minutes video with some of these images at Vimeo. In 2007 an exhibition was held to show these images after restoration; you can download a dossier about it in French or Spanish.
At the French centenary portal Mission Centenaire you can view thirty photographs from the collection at Logroño with full information about the locations shown, again without animated stereoscopic images. There is a link to a fourteen-minute video at Vimeo showing a selection of images, accompanied by music.
Primera Guerra Mundial