WW1 in the Classroom: University of Oxford Digital Resources


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  • Can technology move us beyond the trenches?
  • This is the First World War Poetry Digital Archive website. We’ve c. 7,000 digital images of primary source material (manuscripts, letters, photos, service records) relating to the poetsA virtual Museum to house the digitised manuscripts of dispersed collections of WW1 poetry and related contextual material from some of the major writers of the war. Primary source material dispersed amongst libraries and archives in the UK, USA and Canada. Digitisation performed by holding institutions according to project benchmarks.No physical manifestation of this archive to compliment the online collectionBuilt up over a series of digitisation projects since 1996. Most recently funding received for Apr 07 - Mar 09 and Oct 08 - Sept 09 to expand and enhance the archive (JISC Digitisation Programme).You can see the search box where you can start exploring. And links to the Education Materials and to browse the collections of poetry.
  • Isaac Rosenberg – ask more ephemeral questions – the effect of experience of looking at these grubby manuscripts – do we feel like looking at these texts do we get a more immediate connections with the poems we are looking at. Emotional responses to seeing archiving texts.
  • Draft Is special as it has pencil corrections by Sassoon.
  • You might want to explore's Sassoon's poems to detect his attitudes to war and poetry; this might help us to understand his corrections. Although this resource, 'worldle', cannot replace actually reading this poetry, it is an easy way of seeing quickly which words he uses most.What kinds of words does he use most?1. obviously there are a lot of war-realted words: war, soldiers, men, home.2. there are words denoting situation and surroundings: dawn, light, gloom, darkness, night, rain. 3. but there are also a lot of concrete nouns: eyes, face, head, legs.But what is missing?
  • Wilfred Owen's cloud may show us what Sassoon's is missing.Look how often:1. abstractions are used, e.g. "love", "time", and "god".2. archaic words such as "thy" are used.Could this help us to understand difference between Owen and Sassoon's poetry? What are the limitations of using this resource?
  • So looking at drafts may challenge the idea of the single 'author' but do they also challenge ideas of the single 'work'? Can you think of reasons for the differences between the drafts and published version of the poem?1."who die so fast" (righthand draft) "who die in herds" (left hand draft) "who die as cattle" (published version) 2. "Only the monstrous anger of the guns/ Let the majestic insults of their iron mouths/ Be as the requiem of their burials""Only the monstrous anger of the guns!/Only the stuttering rifles' rattled words/ Can patter out your hasty orisons""Only the monstrous anger of the guns/ Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle/ Can patter out their hasty orisons"3. "Of choristers and holy music, none;/ Nor any voice of mourning save the wail/ The long drawn wail of high far-sailing shells""No wreaths for you, or palms [pomp], nor chanting choirs/ Nor any voice of grief save wailful shires/ [Leave a deep silence by the village wells/ Suddenly to twilight: these are our fairwells.""No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;/ Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,/The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells/ And bugles calling for them from sad shires."4. "What candles may we hold for these lost? souls?" "What candles may boys [we] hold to speed you all?""What candles may be held to speed them all?"
  • Edmund Blunden
  • Early manuscript draft for 'Daughter's of War' by Isaac Rosenberg. (18 different versions in the website, collected from all around the world)As you can imagine, it was very expensive to gather this material.So to add some further contextual material to the site we hoped the public would contribute their material to our website, in a kind of community collection called The Great War Archive. This is an early form of what is known as CROWDSOURCING.Alongside our work on the poetry archive we ran The Great War Archive from March to June 2008.This was a ‘Community Collection’ to harvest digital versions of items originating from the First World War held by the general publicIt was quite innovative – involving the public in all aspects of digitisation and cataloguingIdea of a community collection- Bridge the gap between non-institutional pro-amateurs and institutional collections and their online presence.Creation of digital resources by armateursDigitisation of family history and genealogy is very popular – harnessing this power of amateur digitisation- Democratising in nature – accept everything, not selective
  • There was a very simple online submissions process Public enters basic metadataThe trick was to get the most useful information from the contributor but at the same time not making it a laborious task that would dissuade themOffered a large open ‘notes’ field for further information, anecdotes, etc.Europeana were first inspired to fund this when they saw our work in Oxford to run a short-term pilot collection like this in the UK. In 2008 we ran The Great War Archive. This was a community collection. We had enough funding to run this for 4 months only, as a test pilot. We managed to get the public to contribute stories and images of anything they had from the First World War. This was an early form of what is now called Crowdsourcing. For Germany we followed the methods of The Great War Archive. We set up a very simple online contribution form. This is an English screenshot, and the form and the whole process is available in German as well. The member of the public enters some basic metadata. The trick here is to get the most useful information from the contributor but at the same time not make it a laborious task that might put them off. There is a large open notes field for information and anecdotes. The contributor also agrees to the terms and conditions – these are equivalent to CC0 (Creative Commons Zero). Finally the contributor uploads their files – photos etc.The form – and the whole database is based on an open source Ruby On Rails system which we have developed, and the website has a simple HTML shell – all displayed with a CSS from Europeana.Not everyone is familiar with the Internet, so we ran roadshows. These roadshows were public participation days. They were coordinated by the DNB. We worked with an organisation like a state library or archive. We based ourselves there for a day and used the newspapers and the radio to invite the public to join us.These public participation days really were a bit like the BBC TV programme The Antiques Roadshow, if you have seen it? People really did queue up with their plastic bags full of photos, letters and uniforms. We would talk to them about what they have brought. Get them to fill in a form and then photograph or scan the items.So we have collected the ephemera which the museums and the rest of the world has chosen to leave undocumented. Yes, we had lots of medals and portrait photos but we also got hundreds of unpublished diaries and memoirs and photos.To moderate the contributions we have an admin system which allows our editors to: check items for their validity; correct or add to the metadata; flag items of particular interest/value.We also have a Take Down policy, and an email address where users can contact us.CLICK
  • Europeana 1914-1918’s collection includes everything from letters to medals, trench art and uniforms, and even a postcard from the young Adolf Hitler about his dental treatment in 1916. Fascinating as this is, but what use or meaning does such an eclectic 'collection' actually have? The first time (?) that a collection has been formed through pieces that the public have chosen to preserve, and wish to preserve for the futureGenuine raw materialNew material is of course grist to the academic research mill, and whilst the collection holds many familiar types of artefact, this is arguably the first time that such a collection has been formed through pieces that the public have chosen to preserve, and wish to preserve for the future. What is here has not been selected or weeded to meet a pre-planned museum agenda, and in this sense is genuine raw materialThe collection holds the raw material of school projects, essays, enlightened browsing, and informative relaxation.The pictures are often bold and interesting. Teachers can take and use them at all educational levels and carefully selected have something to say to both adults and children. You can find examples that relate not just to your country, sometimes even your home town. You can tap into experience across nations
  • The creation of a suite of learning and teaching resources that provide an international, cross-disciplinary reappraisal of WW1 using digital content which will subsequently be brought together and presented as OERs.Put the ‘World’ back into ‘World War’“Get out of the trenches”Battles ‘other than the Somme’Medical aspectsReligious aspectsBattlefield archaeology War and Memory Material cultureThe legacy of the War
  • Podcast series coming soon!
  • Scraping Data from Wikipedia
  • Data from the Commonwealth War Graves
  • Spanish Flu Agent Based Model
  • Virtual World Immersion
  • WW1 in the Classroom: University of Oxford Digital Resources

    1. 1. First World War Digital Projects from the University of OxfordKate LindsayIT Services (Academic)University of Oxford@KTDigital | @WW1C | @WW1Lit
    2. 2. It all startedwith poetry… Images: British Library via the First World War Poetry Digital Archive
    3. 3. www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit
    4. 4. MSS Drafts, Published Texts, Correspondence, Photographs,Service Records, Diaries…
    5. 5. I’m trying to stop them rehashing the same old A’ Level essays and I think drafts are a really good way to do that…Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred OwenTo what extent do drafts of this poem challenge itsstatus as a work?Hope Wolf: http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/education/pathways/path/w83yc7
    6. 6. Why do you think Sassoonprefers:1. "the monstrous anger of theguns" to "the solemn anger ofour guns"?2. "the blind insolence of theiriron mouths" to "the majesticinsults of their iron mouths"?
    7. 7. Texts taken from Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/
    8. 8. Images: Blunden Family Archive via the First World War Poetry Digital Archive
    9. 9. http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/educationhttp://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/series/first-world-war-poetry-digital-archive
    10. 10. The Path Creation Tool
    11. 11. Interactive Timelines
    12. 12. They contributed to a community collectionwww.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa
    13. 13. Germany (2011)
    14. 14. Germany (2011)Luxembourg (2012)Ireland (2012)UK Preston (2012)Slovenia (2012)Denmark (2012)
    15. 15. Germany (2011)Luxembourg (2012)Ireland (2012)UK Preston (2012)Slovenia (2012)Denmark (2012)UK Banbury (3 Nov 2012)Cyprus (Nov 2012)Belgium (Dec 2012)Italy (Mar 2013)France?Poland?Malta?Austria?Switzerland?Romania?Portugal?Spain?Norway?…?
    16. 16. http://www.europeana1914-1918.eu/en
    17. 17. • Mapping the Impact of the Great War • 18Ib Artillery Shells: The Great War Recycled • Shellshock on Film • Verdun 1916 • Arras: The Forgotten Battlefield • The Dying Kiss: Gender and Intimacy in First World War Literature • Conflict CultureCommunity Blog http://ww1centenary.oucs.ox.ac.uk/
    18. 18. Audio & Video Talkshttp://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/series/first-world-war-new-perspectives
    19. 19. Resource Libraryhttp://ww1centenary.oucs.ox.ac.uk/
    20. 20. VisualisationsTo re-present digital contentaround World War I intechnologically innovative andinventive ways to showcasethe full potential of usingopen material to seedacademic debate.
    21. 21. http://ww1centenary.oucs.ox.ac.uk/
    22. 22. http://ww1centenary.oucs.ox.ac.uk/tag/interactive-maps/
    23. 23. http://www.youtube.com/watch?vw
    24. 24. Image: Otis Historical Archive, CC BY-NC-SA..
    25. 25. Image: Library of Congress, WW1 Poster Archive. Public Domain.
    26. 26. Can technology move us ‘beyond the trenches’? http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa http://www.europeana1914-1918.eu/en http://ww1centenary.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ Kate Lindsay Manager for Engagement, Academic IT Services Director, World War I Centenary: Continuations and Beginnings University of Oxford katharine.lindsay@it.ox.ac.uk @KTDigital / @WW1C / @WW1LIt