Unlocking Sources – new free online material from the First World War

(cross-posted Europeana 1914-1918 screenshotEducation Enhancement Team blog)

Looking for interesting material related to the First World War? It is now possible to find archival material, digitised films, and private stories and objects in one place, the new Europeana 1914-1918 platform. The website, which has been used for collecting and sharing material held by the general public since 2011, now also offers access to the digitized outputs of two major WW1-related projects: The Europeana Collection 1914-1918 project is digitizing over 400,000 items held in national libraries across Europe.

“The digital collection will span the full range of national library collections including books, newspapers, trench journals, maps, music sheets, children’s literature, photographs, posters, pamphlets, propaganda leaflets, original art, religious works, medals and coins.”

The European Film Gateway 1914 project is creating digital versions of over 650 hours of films and related material on the First World War. The 1,770+ titles include newsreels, documentaries, fiction films, propaganda and anti-war films.

“This material is especially important since only around 20% of the complete silent film production of the era has survived.”

The collection of stories contributed by the general public is still growing. At the moment (February 2014) about 7,500 stories and some 90,000 images are available through the Europeana 1914-1918 site, free for anyone to explore and re-use. Anyone wishing to share their story or material can do so by filling in a simple form on the site. Special events are also organised across Europe where project staff take down the stories, digitize any material brought in, and add it all to the website on behalf of the contributor.

The new Europeana 1914-1918 platform http://europeana1914-1918.eu/ also allows its users to view material from non-Europeana collections across the world, including collections from Australia, New Zealand and the US.

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