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The Great War

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The Smithsonian Institution has created The Great War as a small selection from its digital library. The 28 digitized books cover a wide variety of subjects, from military handbooks, books about the war industry and aircraft to the famous war cartoons of Louis Ramaekers and music. These books were mainly  printed in the USA and the United Kingdom.

The digital library of the Smithsonian Libraries contains some 27,000 digitized books on a total of 1,5 million books, and 400,000 smaller publications (ephemera, pamphlets, etc.). You can browse in the digital library for subjects of books. For the subject World War 1914-1918 you will find some 90 digitized books. There is a list of thematic digital book collections.

The Great War


WW1 Centenary University of Oxford

The portal WW1 Centenary University of Oxford has been created by the University of Oxford to offer an easy point of access to its activities and resources concerning the centenary commemorations of the First World War. There are four main sections on the portal, for peoples, places, Oxford First World War resources, and videos and podcasts. The section People shows letters from undergraduates and staff at Oxford, among them J.R.R. Tolkien. The section Places looks at several colleges, at Oxford University Press, Oxford University Officers’ Training Corps, the role of the Morris factory at Cowley, Port Meadow which became the training camp of the Royal Flying Corps, and Didcot, the Central Ordnance Depot.

In the section WW1 Oxford Resources you can find research projects, some of them well-known, for example the First World War Poetry Digital Archive and the contributions of Oxford to the digital portal Europeana 1914-1918. The digital collection Oxford at War 1914-1918 is a crowdsourcing project to collect stories, images and documents. The Bodleian Libraries are the main force in the Oxford World War I Centenary Programme to preserve and digitize materials. To all these riches one can add the WW1 Primary Resources Guide of the Bodleian.

WW1 Centenary University of Oxford

La 1ère Guerre vue de Paris

Screenprint La 1ère Guerre vue de Paris

The digital collection La 1ère Guerre vue de Paris has been created by Odile Gaultier Voituriez. The collection gives an edition of 1020 letters exchanged during the First World War between two men in Paris, Étienne Bandy de Nalèche (1865-1947), a former diplomat who became the owner and editor-in-chief of the influential Journal des Débats, and Pierre Lebaudy (1865-1929), an industrial entrepeneur, philantrope and art collector. The original letters are mainly kept at the Archives d’histoire contemporaine, Centre d’histoire of Sciences Po in Paris [Fonds Étienne de Nalèche]. The list of other relevant sources and the extensive bibliography merit attention. The letters are posted in a sequence which gives you a day-to-day idea of this correspondance. You can select letters by month of publication.

La 1ère Guerre vue de Paris

Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze: Collezioni della Prima Guerra Mondiale

Italiian poster La Guerra del Mare - image BNCFThe Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze (BNCF) brings to the Italian digital platform Internet Culturale five digital collections concerning the First World War, Collezioni della Prima Guerra Mondiale, which would merit accessibility at a separate subdomain of the BNCF:

Libri: in this collection with some 2,400 books you can find works on a variety of subjects, ranging from biographies, military treatises and tracts about health and medicine to sociological studies, literature and legislation.

Periodici: in this collection with nearly 900 items you will find journals and magazines, both general publications and special journals for subjects such as economy, society, finance and industry. There are also digitized trench journals, official bulletins and war diaries.

Iconografia: in this small section with just 150 items you can find materials such as postcards, posters and manifests, illustrations and cartoons. Some illustrations show the life of Italian prisoners of war in Austria.

Carte geografiche: this section contains 70 maps, most of them created by geographical institutes. The maps show in particular the regions on the border with the Habsburg Empire. The maps from 1919 show the new border with Austria.

Spartiti musicali: in this section with some 300 items you can find all kinds of musical scores. There are military marches, festive hymns and popular songs, works for choir and songs for children.

At Internet Culturale the BNCF presents many collections. The BNCF contributes to Europeana Collections 1914-1918.

Album numérique 14-18

Logo Images 14/18The digital collection Album numérique 14-18 has been created by the Centre Images Lorraine in Nancy. On this website with some 15,000 images you can browse photographs from the Lorraine region. Lorraine (Lothringen) bordered on Germany; in fact between 1871 and 1918 it belonged to Germany. The collection presents images and documents organized by several themes concerning the First World War, such as the home front , daily life in the trenches – with for example attention to the use of animals and transport -, images of the war, the realities of war (aircraft, weapons, industry) and remembrance.

Among the images are some 2,100 stereoscopic photographs shown in red-cyan 3D vision which can be selected by choosing 3D Relief. Apart from images there are some 200 records with letters, diaries and poetry, and nearly 100 objects. You can also conduct a geographical search. In the advanced search mode you can also select images from the database Images de Lorraine.  In particular the number of images concerning aircraft (aéronautique) and aerial photographs (photographies aériennes) is interesting. You can find them using the free text search (libre). The collection will be extended by crowdsourcing until 2018. The website is only accessible in French.

Album numérique 14-18