Crowdsourcing Project on World War One 1914-1918
Digitising pictures, letters, memories for the 100th anniversary
“Your family history of World War One” www.europeana1914-1918.eu was launched in 2011 with a call to the public in Germany to participate in building a digital European archive by contributing private memorabilia from the First World War. We were looking for photographs, letters, diaries, short films, audio recordings, objects and their stories.
Europe ‘s largest online collection of art, culture, and science www.europeana.eu is providing the collections of Europe’s famous and not so famous libraries, museums, galleries and archives. Commemorating the beginning of the First World War in 1914, Europeana aims to accumulate private memories of people across Europe online.
www.europeana1914-1918.eu brings together resources from three major European projects each dealing with different types of First World War material. The result is an archive that allows the national collections of libraries to sit beside personal stories and treasures and important film archives. In collaboration with the University of Oxford, Facts & Files and many other partners across Europe, Europeana 1914-1918 was collecting the public's previously unpublished letters, photographs and keepsakes from the war to be digitised and shared online. People could bring along documents, artefacts and stories from the First World War so they can be scanned or photographed and added to the archive. Another possibility to share the objects and documents by material was by uploading items directly to the website http://europeana1914-1918.eu.
Starting in Germany in 2011, we collected memorabilia in digital form from many of the countries involved in the First World War. Four crossborder German-Polish collection days took place in November 2014. These collection days were organized by the Europeana Foundation, the Minister of State in the Federal Chancellery and Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and Facts & Files.
Until 2018, collection days in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Poznań, Poland, Brno and Prag, Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary, and Cyprus were organised by Europeana.
Merkel: Rather negotiate 20 hours longer
The Federal Chancellor Videopodcast, 24.05.2014: How important is the remembrance of the First World War? German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel talked with Frank Drauschke in her weekly video podcast about Europeana 1914-1918 and the importance of the remembrance of #WWI.
"I am happy that many people participate and that history also becomes more comprehensible. ... This is a great thing", says Angela Merkel about Europeana 1914-1918. Such a project makes it clear that it is "better to negotiate 20 hours longer and talk, but never come back to such a situation in the middle of Europe."
In this project History Communication was the core task of Fatcs & Files. On the behalf of Europeana Facts & Files maked press release and public relation work for the campaign for the project start with a press conference and four days of roadshows. Furthermore, Facts & Files was the project consultant.
A new approach: Crowdsourcing
One innovative aspect of the project is the application of crowdsourcing - collecting input from people at large and assembling a wide variety of family memorabilia which will be made accessible to the public and to researchers. In 2008, Oxford University produced a remarkable collection of 1914-18 papers, pictures, souvenirs and memorable stories, digitised by people across the UK and the Commonwealth in the Great War Archive www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa/