Tag Archives: Music

The Great War

Banner The Great War

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

Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection

Cover of a song America Never - Levy CollectionThe Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection is a digital collection at the Sheridan Libraries of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. This collection contains some 29,000 sheets with printed music published in the United States between 1780 and 1980. The Levy Collection is one of the largest collections of American sheet music. In particular songs about wars or published during periods of war, from the Anglo-American War until the First World War, are to be found here. A search with the subject World War I yields nearly 600 results. You can use the simple search mode by entering either a term in the free text field or use the filters for subjects, composers and publishers, or use the advanced search mode. Levy published books about American music. Not only the text of individual songs published during the First World War is interesting, but also the art work, the subjects of songs and their value for morale and propaganda aims.

The Levy Collection can also be searched using the interface of the Sheet Music Consortium, a service maintained at UCLA Library with access to some forty American collections. Here you can find nearly 6,000 digitized items concerning the First World War.

Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection

Chansons et musique de la Première Guerre Mondiale

Cover image collection "Chansons et musique"The digital collection Chansons et musique de la Première Guerre Mondiale [Songs and music of the First World War] has been created by the Bibliothèque nationale de France as a part of Gallica, its digital portal. The recordings of songs, sometimes accompanied by illustrations, are presented in seven categories, starting with songs written between 1871 and 1914 in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian war with pleas for a revanche, combat songs, patriotic hymns, soldiers’ songs about the life at the front, songs from the home front about daily life, a selection of English songs, and songs about the armistice. Interestingly you can often listen to different versions of a particular song. You can also browse the entire set of collections. However, there is no search possibility. As for now the collection can only be viewed using an interface in French.

Chansons et musique de la Première Guerre Mondiale

Wartime Canada

Wartime CanadaThe portal Wartime Canada has been created by a team of the University of Western Ontario as an educational resource for teaching the history of Canada during both World Wars by using documents and artifacts to get closer to actual experiences. The resources at this portal are organized by ten category headings with a verb, such as Fighting, EatingRelaxingRemembering and Worshipping. The selection of themes under these headings is very wide and instructive. The section on education gives guidance to larger subjects such as the war effort, government and economy, identity and culture, historical inquiry and society. For each theme you can set the selection of items to either the First or the Second World War by choosing this period from a dropdown box. The portal can be visited in English and French.

Wartime Canada

The Virtual Gramophone: First World War Era

Banner The Virtual Gramophone

The virtual exhibition The Virtual Gramophone: First World War Era has been created by Library and Archives Canada at the portal Collections Canada as a part of the section The Virtual Gramophone concerning the history of music in Canada. The portal gives an overview of Canada’s musical history. The section about the First World War has four focuses:

Popular Songs, 1914-1918
Songs of the First World War
The Music on the Home Front: Sheet Music from Canada’s Past
The Music Scene in Quebec, 1915-1920

The section with popular songs gives lists of song arranged in chronological order by year. You can listen to a number of sound recordings of them. The section on songs of the First World War has songs arranged by a number of subjects. The section on sheet music is at present missing from the site. There are also biographies of musicians, and the reference list contains a succinct bibliography about First World War music. This virtual exhibition can be viewed in English and French.

At Sheet Music from Canada’s Past, another section of the portal Collections Canada, you can search for items created during the First World War era (select 1914-1920). Searching for the subject World War 1914-1918 brings you to nearly 200 items.

The Virtual Gramophone: First World War Era

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.

World War I Sheet Music

Cover "For the freedom of the world"The digital collection World War I Sheet Music has been created by the University of Missouri-Kansas City University Libraries. The collection contains nearly 300 American songs dating from the period 1914 to 1919. Apart from songs originally created during the First World War there also songs already dating from the Civil War. You can search the music using one or two of the search fields where you can choose a field such as title or author from a drop down list, browse all songs or all records of the items. By choosing “Other views” for a particular song you will view also the musical scores themselves. The covers of many songs contain significant illustrations.

World War I Sheet Music

World War I Songs

Cover "The Call"The virtual exhibition World War I Songs has been created at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, and curated by Adriana Brook. This collection contains 125 songs from Canada in English, 80 of them dating from the First World War. A gallery shows all photographs of the sheet music of all songs. Many covers are illustrated. The songs are accompanied by a complete overview of the lyrics, an analysis, and a bibliography of relevant literature.

World War I Songs

DNB – 100 Jahre Erster Weltkrieg

Header DNB Erster Weltkrieg

The virtual exhibition DNB – 100 Jahre Erster Weltkrieg [100 years First World War] has been created by the Deutsche Bücherei in Leipzig, nowadays part of the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. In 1914 the Deutsche Bücherei started collecting items for a Weltkriegssamlung. The virtual exhibition has been created for the centenary of the First World War. A selection of items from a wide variety of resources has been catalogued anew and partially digitized. By clicking on the menu you can choose item concerning a number of themes, such as Krieg sammeln (collecting the war), Krieg Ausstellen (showing the war), Medienwelt (the world of the media, with a wide variety in formats), Kriegsalltag (daily life during the war), propaganda and persons. You can also select some thirty themes from an alphabetical overview (A-Z). The Zeitstrahl (“time ray”) allows you to search on a time-table for events during a particular year. The virtual exhibition can only be accessed in German.

During the First World War more libraries in Germany and Austria have created Kriegssammlungen (War collections). So far only a few collections have been digitized. More information about them is given at Kriegssamlungen in Deutschland 1914-1918; this website has been included and described here, too.

DNB – 100 Jahre Erster Weltkrieg

Soldiers’ Mail: Letters home from a Yankee Doughboy 1916-1919

Photogtaph of Samuel E. AveryThe digital collection Soldiers’ Mail: Letters home from a Yankee Doughboy 1916-1919 has been created by Richard E. Landers. The collection presents letters, notes from his diary and postcards written by sergeant Samuel E. Avery to members of his family in Boston, Massachusetts. Avery served in France with the 103rd Infantry Regiment. The series of letters starts in 1916 with his service during the Mexican Border Campaign. Each letter appears in a post on this blog. Among special subjects getting attention here is music: you can listen to a number of popular songs from the First World War. The website has also a image gallery and a useful bibliography on American soldiers and the First World War. The links in the blogroll are concerned with this subject, too, and bring you to more digital projects with First World War letters.

Soldiers’ Mail: Letters home from a Yankee Doughboy 1916-1919