Preserving The Untold by Neil Bates from Europeana (NL)

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The Europeana 1914-1918 and Europeana 1989 projects are pan-European initiatives to collect memorabilia and stories from two prominent time periods that changed the face and shape of Europe. These …

The Europeana 1914-1918 and Europeana 1989 projects are pan-European initiatives to collect memorabilia and stories from two prominent time periods that changed the face and shape of Europe. These projects aim to create a vivid and complete picture of WWI (1914-1918) and the revolutions of Eastern Europe (1989). By combining these personal stories with institutional collections, Europeana is creating unique and engaging online user experiences like no other.

In 2013 a series of Europeana 1989 collection days were held in Warsaw, Poznan and Gdansk. This year, to commemorate the beginning of the WWI centenary, Europeana 1914-1918 plans to launch a campaign in Poland and is inviting Polish cultural institutions to participate.

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  • At Europeana we are commemorating and working to preserve two time periods in the 20th century that ultimately changed the face of Europe, the years between 1914 and 1918, and finally the year of 1989.
    We’re have devloped two separate archives for both of these time periods that are based on submissions from the general public and complimented by the official records and accounts that are held in our memory intuitions.
  • First I’m going to talk about our flagship project: Europeana 1914-1918, which is one of our two user generated archives.
  • With the start of WWI centenary commemorations this year, since 2012 we at Europeana together with our partners have been working to create a unique perspective of the First World War, showing it from every side of the battle lines and with insights from every point of view.
    Human side rather than the politcal. So we’ve got love letters, hand made gifts, extraordinary personal keep-sakes and much more.
    Europeana 1914-1918 is a crowd-sourced archive that is constantly expanding with memorabilia and stories from anyone who wishes to contribute.
    Looking back at the origins of the project, Europeana 1914-1918 is largely based on an initiative from the University of Oxford where people across Britain were asked to come along to collection days to bring family letters, photographs and keepsakes from the War to be digitised. The success of that idea – which became the Great War Archive – encouraged us at Europeana, Europe's digital archive, library and museum, to bring other national institutions across Europe into an alliance with Oxford University.
    Therefore this unique collaboration brings stories and memorabilia together online from across Europe – thus all sides of the conflcit.
  • So far we’ve had collection days in 14 countries with more planned in Austria and Portugal later this year.
    We are looking for partners in Poland who can work with us to organise collection days across the country.
    We can provide expertise, knowledge and extensive outreach both nationally and on a pan-European level for institutions in Poland who want to join the project.
  • This is one of the most iconic items to surface via Europeana 1914-1918. It’s what we like the call the life-saving bible.
    It was brought in by the son of
    Comment on the photo sent My father fell in World War I as a soldier of infantry in the heavy fighting at Verdun. In a wonderful way, he was rescued by his Bible, which he described as a devout Christian always carried with him, and laid during sleep in the dugout with his head. When a shell hit the dugout and smashed many of his comrades were wounded or killed. An approximately 4 cm large piece of shrapnel tore the Bible under his head, but beat them by not fully so that my father unharmed remained alive. The Bible, a precious, aufbewahrtes in the family memento, had been very real to life his rescue. - See more at:
  • It is here a set of carved figures representing farm animals. They are the work of Charles Grauss (born in Nancy in 1881, fell on the battlefield April 29, 1918), entered in the 339th Infantry Regiment (ri) and 286th laughed These figures, contained in a metal box, were destined for the daughter of Ch Grauss, Ghislaine. However, the biography of Ghislaine Grauss, remained childless, remains unknown. This set of figures does not come from a gift of Grauss family, but a priest who knew the person (outside the family Grauss) in possession of these items (which were probably redeemed or transferred by Ghislaine). - See more at:
  • Creating a truly global perspective by hooking up APIs
  • City University of Hong Kong University – eCloud
    The project provides a unique visual experience, featuring personal World War One stories collected across Europe as part of Europeana's 1914-18 Family History Roadshows.
    The installation enables the browsing and display of multiple items of web content simultaneously in a public exhibition setting. Using the Europeana API, high-resolution content and the semantic relationships in the existing metadata, it shows a dynamic amalgamation of personal stories, associated image clouds and soundscape on an interactive 3D 9m x 3m video wall.
  • Moving to more recent history, Europeana 1989 is another of our UGC projects which commemorates this year’s 25th anniversary of the revolutions of Eastern Europe.
    Europeana 1989 kicked off in June last year at the National Audiovisual Institute in Warsaw. The project utilises the same format as our 1914-1918 project with collection days happening all across Eastern Europe, however we are using a different approach online.
  • Thank and remember if any of you are interested in collaborating with us in Poland for Europeana 1914-1918 – please let me know.


  • 1. Preserving The Untold Europeana 1914-1918 & Europeana 1989 We Are Museums, Warsaw, Poland. June 5, 2014 Neil Bates, Distribution & Engagement @nbates86 –
  • 2. 1914-1918 Adam Jacobs outside right as an NCO – 1916. Europeana 1914-1918 (CC-BY-SA)
  • 3. Europeana 1914-1918 is a pan-European project preserving the human aspects of the conflict. @nbates86 #AllezCulture
  • 4. @nbates86 @Europeana1914 Past Collection Days France Slovakia Romania Italy Belgium Cyprus Denmark Ireland United Kingdom Slovenia Luxembourg Germany Netherlands Greece Upcoming Austria Portugal Planning Croatia Poland Bosnia and Herzegovina Serbia Turkey
  • 5. Collection Days Collection day in Huis Doorn, The Netherlands, March 2014. Wiebe de Jager (CC-BY-SA)
  • 6. Europeana 1914-1918 in Numbers: 124,272 items 9,784 stories (via The Europeana 1914-1918 Collection Days and online submissions) @nbates86 #AllezCulture
  • 7. Connected projects: 400,000 items from 8 national libraries (via Europeana 1914-1918 Collections project) 600 hours of film (via The European Film Gateway project) @nbates86 #AllezCulture
  • 8. The Bible as salvation from death - 1917. Europeana 1914-1918 (CC-BY-SA)
  • 9. Tiny figurines of farm animals. Europeana 1914-1918 (CC-BY-SA)
  • 10. 1989 Celebration of May 1, 1989 in Poznan. Europeana 1989 (CC-BY-SA)
  • 11. Anna Misiewicz (32) Warsaw, Poland 89 Voices – CC-BY-SA
  • 12. Dziękuję Neil Bates Europeana Foundation l @nbates86 l