The digital collection (Ex-)keizer Wilhelm II [(Ex-)emperor Wilhelm II] has been created by Het Utrechts Archief, the combined municipal archives of the city Utrecht and the state archives in the province Utrecht. In November 1918 the German emperor fled from the German army headquarters in Spa to the Netherlands. Initially he stayed at castle Amerongen. In 1920 he moved to the estate of Huis Doorn, now a museum. The emperor succeeded in getting a generous selection of his belongings in Germany to Huis Doorn. The Kaiser died in 1941. After the Second World War the Dutch authorities confiscated his goods. In 1975 the archival collection was transferred to Het Utrechts Archief.
The digital collection is essentially an online finding aid with digitized materials. Het Utrechts Archief offers a general introduction (in Dutch) to this collection. The collection has been divided into personal papers (stukken van persoonlijke aard), business and estate materials (stukken van zakelijke aard), materials before 1918, documentation and maps (Kaarten). Section 5.2 of the maps contains some ninety maps dealing with the First World War. You will find digitized letters, books, journals and newspapers, and various other materials, some of them from the nineteenth century. You can consult a German version of the finding aid, created in 1997 at the time the collection was microfilmed.
(Ex-)keizer Wilhelm II
The digital collection Belgen Gezocht [Searching Belgians] has been created by the Archief Eemland in Amersfoort, The Netherlands. This regional archive has digitized photographs, a newspaper and family registers about some 19,000 Belgian refugees who came to Amersfoort in 1914. 16,000 Belgian soldiers were brought to Camp Zeist. A refugee newspaper De Kampbode [The Camp Messenger] has been completely digitized (1915-1918). The family cards are partially still being transcribed and processed as part of Vele Handen [Many Hands], a Dutch crowdsourcing project for indexing and transcribing online archival records. The collections are accompanied by six virtual exhibitions about particular locations, among them the project for the Belgenmonument, the monument commemorating the Belgian presence in and around Amersfoort during the First World War. The website can only be viewed in Dutch.
The virtual exhibition Amsterdam en de Eerste Wereldoorlog [Amsterdam and the First World War] has been created by the Stadsarchief Amsterdam. The exhibition is organized around six major themes: culture, daily life, the war, the military, social history and refugees. You can view items concerning subjects such as food, medicine, Dutch soldiers and mariners, women, daily life and culture, the refugees – mainly from Belgium, and labor during the First World War. On the page Meer weten there is information about important archival record series of the Amsterdam municipal archive, including links to online inventories, and a selection of websites concerning the First World War. This virtual exhibition can only be viewed in Dutch.
Amsterdam en de Eerste Wereldoorlog
The portal 100 jaar Nederland en de Eerste Wereldoorlog [100 years Netherlands and the First World War] has been created by the foundation with the same name. The website contains a news section, brings you book alerts, a calendar of events and activities (agenda), and a section with a bibliography of literature concerning the First World War. An interesting feature is the section 100 years ago [100 jaar geleden] with a month by month overview of events between 1914 and 1919. The links section brings you some twenty commented links. The website can only be viewed in Dutch.
100 jaar Nederland en de Eerste Wereldoorlog
The section Academic Joy – Theses Repositories is a part of a portal with several links sections for academic theses in open access repositories all over the world. Academic Joy is a portal for Ph.D. students. You can choose repositories from a general overview or navigate maps for Europe, Asia, Africa, the United States of America and Canada. The lists are fairly exhaustive but sometimes repositories have not been included. The list here below gives an overview of the some of the most important repositories with the widest coverage. A number of missing repositories in Belgium and The Netherlands are indicated below.
Some repositories focus on history:
Some directories will guide you to theses:
Belgium and The Netherlands
For Belgium one can consult M.A. theses in Flemish at Ethesis and Flemish B.A. theses in the Vlaamse Scriptiebank; both websites have an interface in Dutch and English. For the Netherlands one can add Scripties van de Nederlandse Universiteiten for M.A. theses, and the Igitur Archive for Ph.D. and M.A. theses defended at Utrecht University. B.A. and M.A. theses written at Dutch Higher Education institutions can be retrieved from the HBO Kennisbank. The Dutch term for the First World War is Eerste Wereldoorlog.
Academic Joy – Theses Repositories
The digital portal Memory of the Netherlands contains numerous items concerning the First World War. The portal maintained by the Dutch Royal Library in The Hague presents some 120 digital collections from 100 Dutch cultural institutions. The main selection of items concerning the First World War can be found following the theme Military life which brings you to some 8,000 items from the collections of the former Legermuseum (Army Museum) in Delft. The preset selection of items concerning the First World War contains at presents some 400 photographs and drawings. At the Memory of the Netherlands you can also conduct a general search for items related to the First World War (Dutch: Eerste Wereldoorlog).
In 2014 two Dutch army museums will reopen as the Nationaal Militair Museum (National Military Museum). At the portal Dutch Military Heritage you can search in a number of digital collections created by the former Legermuseum.
Dutch cultural institutions such as the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, the Nationaal Archief, the EYE Film Instituut, the Legermuseum and the International Institute for Social History contribute to Europeana 1914-1918; currently some 8,000 items at this portal come from the collections of these institutions.
Memory of the Netherlands; First World War
The digital project Staten-Generaal Digitaal contains parliamentary records of the Dutch Parliament from 1814 to 1995. The records were digitized by the Dutch Royal Library in The Hague. You can search for particular years and dates, subjects and select either the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate, or the Tweede Kamer, the Chamber of Deputies, or both. You can search for particular records – Kamerstukken, papers debated, Kamervragen, questions, and the Handelingen, the records of the debates – or search a particular speaker. There is also an advanced search mode (uitgebreid zoeken). You can also choose to look at a small number of themes, browse and search the registers, and look at maps (kaarten). The website is only accessible in Dutch.
The portal War Museums in Europe is a Dutch website with the simple aim of putting concise information about European war museums conveniently together. The website offers a alphabetically ordered list, a country list and a rating index. The website mentions 136 museums. Clearly these are not all museums covering only the First World War, and it seems this small portal has not been recently updated. The website can be viewed only in English.
The International Council of Museums (ICOM) has an International Committee of Museums and Collections of Arms and Military History (ICOMAM) in which most of the large and national war museums and military museums in Europe participate.
War Museums in Europe
The museum Huis Doorn is dedicated to the history of this country house and its most famous occupant, the German emperor Wilhelm II. After the November revolution of 1918 Wilhelm II asked the Dutch government to grant him political asylum. After a time at the castle of Amerongen the Kaiser bought Huis Doorn in 1919 where he lived until his death in 1941. He turned the country house into a museum of the German Reich and monarchy, with many objects from the royal family. The museum has its own digital image database with some 6,500 digitized images from the collection of 12,000 photos kept at Huis Doorn. The website of the museum and the image database can be viewed in Dutch, German and English.
The European Film Gateway 1914 is a part of the European Film Gateway dedicated to films and other audio materials from the First World War held in various European collections in twenty countries. The materials shown are newsreels, documentaries, fiction and propaganda, all in all some 660 hours from 5,600 documents. There is an accompanying project website for background information. The EFG has also created a virtual exhibition on the subject of European Film and the First World War. The user interface is in twelve languages.
European Film Gateway 1914