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Diaries of the First World War: Citizen history on the Western Front Jim O’Donnell (Oxford University) and Luke Smith (Imperial War Museum)
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Diaries of the First World War: Citizen history on the Western Front Jim O’Donnell (Oxford University) and Luke Smith (Imperial War Museum)

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The War Office records held by the National Archives include daily war diaries compiled by all the British Army units serving on the Western Front 1914-18. These archives comprise approximately 1.5 …

The War Office records held by the National Archives include daily war diaries compiled by all the British Army units serving on the Western Front 1914-18. These archives comprise approximately 1.5 million pages of written diaries, orders, maps and records. Building on the success of high-profile citizen science projects such as Galaxy Zoo, Planet Hunters and Old Weather, the Imperial War Museum has partnered with the Zooniverse, at Oxford University, to build a citizen history platform that will transcribe these papers and uncover the stories held within the diaries. Describes the design and development of the diary interface, results from preliminary testing with Zooniverse citizen scientists and talks about experiences of building a large-scale citizen history project.

Presented by Jim O’Donnell at:
The Museums Computer Group 'Museums on the Web' conference 2013 (UKMW13)
https://twitter.com/search?q=%23ukmw13
Tate Modern, 15 November 2013.
The theme for UKMW13 was ‘Power to the people’.

The Museums Computer Group: connecting, supporting, inspiring museum technology professionals


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  • There was no education material on this site - we attempted no outreach.
  • Peas.
    Users as advocates
  • Transcript

    • 1. Diaries of the First World War Jim O’Donnell University of Oxford
    • 2. Kevin Schawinski
    • 3. 400,000 volunteers classifications 200m Galaxy Zoo: help astronomers classify galaxies galaxyzoo.org
    • 4. 200 billion hours a year Spent watching TV by US adults 100 million hours total to create Wikipedia Inspiration: David McCandless (Goggle Boxes, July 2010), Data: Clay Shirky (‘Cognitive Surplus’, 2010)
    • 5. 16 years Every Hour
    • 6. Ali Swanson University of Minnesota Credit: Stefan Swanepoel
    • 7. snapshotserengeti.org
    • 8. 23,000 volunteers classifications 9,500,000 Snapshot Serengeti: identify and describe animals in Serengeti National Park snapshotserengeti.org
    • 9. Luke Smith Imperial War Museum
    • 10. Rise of the Machines
    • 11. Whale FM – understanding whale calls
    • 12. Serendipity
    • 13. Old Weather – Spanish flu
    • 14. zooniverse.org/publications Galaxy Zoo Green Peas: discovery of a class of compact extremely star-forming galaxies Cardamone et al., MNRAS 2009
    • 15. zooniverse.org/publications Working together to do science (or understand history)
    • 16. zooniverse.org @the_zooniverse jim@zooniverse.org