100 Years later, WWI Archived by the Crowd
The year 2014 will mark the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, and with it the official debut of a prodigious crowdsourcing project. In March the German National Library, along with the University of Oxford and the european digital library – Europeana – began the call for contributions to their project, “The First World War in everyday documents”. The project will be made up of photos, letters, diaries, film, voice recordings and memorabilia from the era. The project will be expanding upon the Great War Archive, begun in 2008 by the University of Oxford. The goal is to have archival material from at least 10 countries collected and made accessible to the public by 2014.
Throughout July the days-of-action events in Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Munich and Stuttgart and other cities brought people together to catalog their memorabilia and documents. These were then professionally digitized and added to the online archive. More than 100 people have taken part so far, contributing priceless information and artifacts.
Of course, you can also contribute items and help fill in details about other pieces in the collection online at www.europeana1914-1918.eu The richness of the collection is already proving itself. Visitors can browse through all of the contributions or check out the gems in the Editor´s Pick section.
Using the basic crowdsourcing method, the First World War archive project brings together people from many different counties to share their materials, and knowledge thereof, with the world. The Internet and this interwoven method of sharing and compiling are paving the way for memorabilia otherwise left in the attic to be made available to researchers and the public.
(images from pixelio)