Unlocking the First World War Online

If you’re interested in the First World War, then you need to know about a great event we’re putting on in Berlin at the end of the month.

On 30-31 January, the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin is hosting ‘Unlocking Sources – the First World War Online & Europeana’. It’s partly a two-day conference but it’s actually much more than that.

If you can make it to Berlin, as well as attending the conference, you can visit the Staatsbibliothek’s special exhibition ‘Unlocking Sources: Europeana 1914-1918 – The Making Of’. It runs from 30 January to 8 February 2014 and presents outstanding holdings from the Staatsbibliothek’s own collections related to the First World War. The interactive exhibition illustrates the many ways in which a library collection can be used and combined with other internet offerings.

You can also go to two family history roadshows being held as part of the event – bring along your family’s First World War stories and memorabilia to add to the online archive. Experts will be on hand to digitise your objects and to tell you more about them.

First World War

Finally, it’s an excuse to celebrate the launch of the new-look Europeana 1914-1918 website along with an educational site and a virtual exhibition – and you can of course take advantage of these even if you can’t make it to Berlin.

The new version of the Europeana 1914-1918 website brings the public’s previously untold stories of the First World War together with official histories from national libraries and film footage of the era. It also incorporates collections from outside Europe – search the Digitial Public Library of America, Australia’s Trove and Digital New Zealand. This makes the site one of the world’s largest databases of objects related to the First World War.

Read More- Supporting students with early documents

Search by themes related to life at or behind the front such as the health service, economy, refugees, prisoners of war, youth literature, art, music, or caricatures. Study and compare materials from different countries and in different languages. Discover the First World War from all angles and all perspectives.

The virtual exhibition ‘Places of transition’ presents around 90 objects characterising nine places which are typical of the First World War, for example, the railway station, the camp, the headquarters, the hospital, the barrack yard, and the factory – all places where life could take a decisive turn. From civilian to soldier, from intellectual to commander, from soldier to injured veteran, from housewife to factory worker, the exhibition shows how lives were transformed by war and war-related events.

For the teachers and students amongst you, the new multimedia e-learning website ‘The First World War’, offers several hundred outstanding resources and videos from all over Europe as well as accompanying teaching materials.