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
The digital collection Crew Lists of the British Merchant Navy – 1915 has been created by the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. Volunteers transcribed in a crowdsourcing project 750,000 names in some 39,000 crew lists. Some of the lists are held by the National Archives in Kew, their lists have not been digitized for this website. You can search for crew members (first name, surname, rank, vessel and birth place) and for vessels (vessel name and official number). The lists are formally crew agreements, official contracts. Women, too, served on merchant ships. The lists are also an important resource for family history and economic history. The page About provides background information, and you can benefit from the Frequently Asked Questions, too.
Crew LIsts of the British Merchant Navy – 1915
The digital World War I British press photograph collection is a project of the University of British Columbia Library. In the 1930’s the British consulate in Seattle gave the University of British Columbia some 6,000 photographic prints. The originals are kept at the Imperial War Museums. During the First World War the Photographic Section of the Ministry of Information and other governmental agencies released photographs for use by the British press. In most cases the names of the photographers are not given. The digital collection contains nearly 3,700 photographs showing in particular the ordinary soldiers, but also for (foreign) commanders, aristocracy, weapons and training.
The filters for selecting particular items do not work as expected, but in the general advanced search mode of the digital collections of UBC Library you can preset the collection and add search fields at will. You can set the order of presentation, and choose for a list view, thumbnail or detailed view. A large number of photographs (1,233) was taken in France, but other countries are to be found as well.
World War I British press photograph collection
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 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
The digital collection British Soldier’s Wills is a project of the UK government in which some 280,000 soldier’s wills between 1850 and 1996 have been digitized. These wills are part of a general database for probate search in the United Kingdom. The Original wills are kept by Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service (HMCTS). In the simple search mode you can search for name and year of death. The advance search mode adds the possibilty to search also for first names, the day and month of death, and regimental number. You have to register to view the digitized wills, but you can search without registration. The interface of this database is in English.
British Soldier’s Wills
The digital collection Three Pilots – One War is the fruit of a partnership between the Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr (Berlin-Gatow), the Royal Air Force Museum (London) and the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace in Le Bourget. You can follow the First World War through the letters of three pilots, the Frenchman Jean Chaput, the Englishman Bernard Rice – who had served earlier as a messenger – and the German Peter Falkenstein. The letters are published here in day-to-day order exactly 100 years after they were written. Historical comments accompany each letter. The three museums will organize exhibitions between 2014 and 2019 to highlight aspects of the aircraft warfare during the First World War. You can view this collection in English, French and German.
Three Pilots – One War