Unlocking Sources – The First World War online & Europeana Conference

IMG_2145sm (cross-posted Education Enhancement Team blog)

Academics, curators, project staff and the RunCoCo team gathered at the Unlocking Sources – The First World War online & Europeana Conference  in Berlin at the end of January. Some 200 participants were treated to a series of talks introducing new digital resources and showing how these can be used in research and teaching.  Kate Lindsay (Manager for Education Enhancement, Academic IT, Oxford)  gave a much appreciated presentation of our work ‘Embedding Community Collections within the Community’, and the team were approached by a number of people who wanted to talk about how they could implement our methods or use the Oxford Community Collection Model.

The new Europeana 1914-1918 platform was launched at the event, and received a lot of attention also outside the conference. About 50,000 people visited the site in the first three days since its launch. The site offers access to digitized films from the period, institutional cultural heritage and official records alongside thousands of stories shared by the general public, illustrated with digital images of objects, letters, personal diaries, photographs, and other items from the period of the First World War (see also separate blog about the site)

The conference was held at the Berlin State Library which also opened its doors to members of the public who wanted to share their First World War stories and objects. The Europeana 1914-1918 project has been using the successful Oxford CIMG_2209smommunity Collection Model  to collect stories and images across Europe, combining online mass crowd-sourcing with interactive ‘roadshows’. The Berlin roadshow received a lot of attention and  hundreds of people came to tell their stories and have their objects digitised and published online in the Europeana 1914-1918 platform.  RunCoCo staff were happy to help capture this wealth of material and offer a way for those less ‘web-savvy’ to share their heritage and make their stories heard.

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