The team have recently presented our work at a couple of events arranged by local history-related organisations. We are very happy to get this chance to talk about what we do, not least when we can engage with an audience that we may not meet in our academic work.
Sharing stories about the First World War
The Oxfordshire Family History Society ran an Open Day in Woodstock on October 6th. Several hundred visitors gathered to explore what the forty exhibitors had to offer. Representatives from societies, publishers, dealers in second hand books and much more could be found in the large venue. At our stand we invited visitors to explore the Europeana 1914-1918 website, and encouraged them to contribute their own material to the ongoing international collection of stories and objects from the First World War. We also talked about our collection day activities and demonstrated some of our mobile digitisation equipment, explaining how running a collection day can be as big or small a project as you wish.
Showing the Europeana 1914-1918 website
The Western Front Association, Worcestershire and Herefordshire branch, held their 2013 autumn conference in Worcester on October 19th. Interest in the event was great, and only the size of the venue meant that participant numbers was held at just under a hundred. Those attending were treated to two excellent talks (‘The Battle of Arras’ by Jeremy Banning and ‘Boy Soldiers of the Great War’ by Richard Van Emden) and also had plenty of time to explore the display stands. Our stand featured the Europeana 1914-1918, and it was a great pleasure to talk to so many knowledgeable people and hear about the stories and material they hold. We are looking forward to seeing them on the website as they share their stories and material with the wider world.
Of particular interest to researchers, research facilitators and anyone involved in outreach activities, the Engage web site provides useful information to those who are looking to enhance their public engagement activities though the use of digital technologies. The site provides a guide on how different technologies can be used to support different approaches to public engagement, a series of Oxford case studies of effective practice, as well as specific information on how IT Services can support you in your PE activities. We will be expanding the site over time, and welcome any additions.
After 5-years of delivering high profile public engagement projects, in 2013 we launched our ‘Running Community Collections and Crowdsourcing‘ Service. This is a service available to groups internal and external to the University, offering free advice and more indepth coaching, training and leadership on a cost-recovery basis. This autumn there will be plenty of opportunities to hear more about the service and the projects we have developed, including a new *free* course available to University members (information to come).
3rd September: Sixth West Europeana Studies Library and Information Network (WESLINE) Conference. Balliol College, University of Oxford. The anniversary of World War I The Oxford Community Collection Model and Europeana 1914-1918
19th September. Regional WWI Centenary Networking Morning, Reading Museum. Digital resources and community engagement to support your centenary plans
5th October. Oxfordshire Family History Society Open Day, The Marlborough School, Woodstock.
19th October. Midland History Forum: How should we remember World War I? School of Education, University of Birmingham. Beyond the Trenches: Digital Resources from the University of Oxford
19th October. Western Front Association 2013 Autumn Conference. Worcestershire & Herefordshire branch. University of Worcester.
5th November. Termly Meeting of the Oxford University Communications Officers. Marking Commemorations and Celebrations: The Oxford Community Collection Model
15th November. Power to the People! Museums and the Web Conference UK 2013. Tate Modern, London. Crowdsourcing a Community Collection (and the After Effects)
19th November. Engage: Social Media Michaelmas. IT Services, University of Oxford. Engage: Collecting Memories from the Public.
23rd-24th November. Finding Identities: Lancashire and the First World War. University of Central Lancashire. Europeana 1914-1918.
We have also updated the RunCoCo website, which provides information and guides on the Oxford Community Collection Model.
This month the First World War Poetry Digital Archive received its 1 millionth hit. Launched in November 2008, it reached the million mark in half the time than that of its predecessor The Wilfred Owen Archive. But where do our visitors come from?
Of course anything with an .ox.ac.uk url gets us quite high up the search engine rankings, and it helps to be linked to by many ‘authoritative’ sites (e.g. the BBC, Yale, The Independent, and The Times). But what pays off the most is being referenced in the places where people who are interested in First World War poetry go to first. With 10 x more referrals than the BBC is Wikipedia. The archive is referenced on a number of pages in the ‘External Links’ sections, with 63 links from Wikipedia to the archive in total. The archive has also been used to correct and enhance articles.
(for those who are interested our ‘peaks’ are November 11ths)
Wikipedia is a powerful source of knowledge and increasingly academia is working alongside the Wikimedian community to improve content and disseminate work openly. A further example of this is the Jisc World War I Editathon we worked on last year. As part of this year’s Engage Programme we hope to include opportunities to build skills in editing Wikipedia and using it as a platform to develop OER with the aim to support the collegiate University in discovering the potentials of using Wikimedia for teaching, learning and research.
This is a very last minute call for papers:
Unlocking Sources – The First World War online and Europeana: As three projects Europeana Collections 1914-1918, EFG1914 and Europeana 1914-1918 will complete in 2014, it is a good time to meet and discuss new digital offerings around the First World War and Europeana. A two-day international conference called ‘Unlocking sources – The First World War online & Europeana’ will take place at the Berlin State Library in January 2014 and will discuss the mediation of history online. A Call for Papers has been published with a deadline of 15.07.2013. More details at http://www.europeana-collections-1914-1918.eu/unlocking-sources/.
The EET are responsible for communicating with academics about Europeana, and specifically the 3 projects mentioned above.