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 Affiches de guerre [War posters] has been created in 2015 at the university library of the Université de Montreal and is now shown in its Calypso digital library. This collection contains nearly 3,500 posters from both the First and the Second World War, mainly from Canada, the United States, France, Germany and the Habsburg Empire. A small number of posters comes from other countries such as Belgium, Ireland, Italy and Russia. There are 1,675 posters from the years 1914 to 1919. A number of posters is the work of renown artists. You can set filters for particular artists, themes and years. In the advanced search mode you can search more precisely, and even add search fields as you wish. The collection can be viewed in French and English.
Affiches de guerre
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 World War I Collection: Posters has been created by the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. This digital collection contains 12,300 posters published in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland and Russia, Italy, Austria, Canada and Hungary, to mention here only the countries with more than 100 posters in this collection. The size and variety of this collection is extraordinary. There are several filters to make a selection (e.g. country of origin, language, creator) and you can set the time period. For 1914-1918 there are some 10,600 items. The results can be viewed in a list or in a grid. It is possible to create a user account, to save your search questions and create your own collections. This collection can only be viewed with an English interface.
World War I Collection: Posters
The digital collection World War I Postcards from the Bowman Gray Collection has been created by the library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The collection contains some 6,400 postcards from the main belligerent countries (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, Russia and Italy), but also from other countries. The sheer number of postcards in this collection is equivalent to the number of interesting subjects, for example cavalry or children. Some commercial series, too, are completely present. You can browse the collection in its entirety (530 records with often multiple items), choose among the subjects, names and places, or use the free text search. The general introduction to this collection gives also a succinct bibliography on the subject of First World War postcards.
World War I Postcards from the Bowman Gray Collection
The digital collection Western European Theater Political Pamphlet Collection 1894-1918 has been created by Princeton University Library (collection MC 248). The collection contains in 77 boxes items from European countries collected since 1914. Apart from pamphlets in English there are items in French, German, Russian, Italian and other languages. The pamphlets do not only touch upon politics but on many aspects of the First World War and the period immediately before the war. The digitized pamphlets are accessible using an online finding aid. In the left side bar you can click on subjects and time periods which open either an item or a set of items within a record. You can use the general search field for a free text search. It is also possible to view the entire finding aid as a page or to download it as a PDF.
Western European Theater Political Pamphlet Collection 1894-1918
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 version of the Kriegstagebuch Fritz Schilling 1914-1918 has been created by his granddaughter Kerstin Schilling. During the First World War Fritz Rudolf Schilling (1891-1942) served with the Berlin Corps Fernsprechabteilung, a communication unit of the German Army, both at the Russian front and in France. The diary with mostly brief entries is published in blog fashion, interestingly one month in each post. Some photographs and maps have been added to the entries. This diary can be viewed only in German.
Kriegstagebuch Fritz Schilling 1914-1918
The virtual presentation ECPAD: Première guerre mondiale is part of the ECPAD portal, the website of the Établissement de Communication et de Production Audiovisuelle de la Défense in Ivry-sur-Seine, the communication branch of the French defense ministry. At its portal ECPAD presents a selection of videos and photographs from its vast collection of First World War items, some 110,000 photographs (97,000 of them in the series SPA) and 2,000 films (series 14.18) which all have been digitized for the centenary of the Grande Guerre. One can consult the digitized items at the mediathèque in the old fortress Fort d’Ivry or order digitized images. ECPAD offers a very brief overview of its original audivisual collection created between 1915 and 1915, a general overview of materials from private collections concerning the Grande Guerre (PDF), and also succinct overviews of their First World War materials for a number of countries in Europe, Africa and Asia, and a set of fiches for each French département.
The online selection touches upon many themes in a wide variety of resources, among them for example coloured photographs (autochromes, 25 images in the selection, mainly to be found in the AUL series) and some 20,000 stereoscopic images (photographies stéréoscopiques, series D2 and D198), images of Russian soldiers in France, of prisoners of war, of the first American soldiers arriving in 1918, exercising army units, and much more. Only seven stereoscopic images are available online (animated versions).
There are only a few digital collections with French autochromes from the First World War. The main other collection is at the Mediathèque de l ‘Architecture et du Patrimoine, discussed also here. Parts of both collections appear also elsewhere. A third major collection is held at the Musée départemental Albert Kahn in Boulogne-Billancourt. The virtual exhibition of this museum is described here. At Arago-Le Portail de la Photographie you find more about several early techniques for colour photographs.
ECPAD: Première guerre mondiale
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.