Saturday, March 07, 2009

The First World War Poetry Digital Archive and The Great War Archive

The First World War Poetry Digital Archive and The Great War Archive is an online repository of over 4000 items of text, images, audio, and video for teaching, learning, and research. The collection includes works of well known poets such as Wilfred Owen, Isaac Rosenberg, Robert Graves, Vera Brittain, and Edward Thomas as well as poems from the general public.

From the site:

Launched on 11th November 2008 the First World War Poetry Digital Archive (based at the University of Oxford and funded by the JISC Digitisation Programme) made available to the general public a wide array of archival resources relating to literature of the First World War. Building on the success of Oxford's 'Wilfred Owen Multimedia Digital Archive', and the 'Virtual Seminars for Teaching Literature' project, this multimedia digital archive contains archival resources from other major British poets of the First World War plus images, text, audio and video of primary contextual materials.

There can be no doubt about the widespread popularity of war poetry, and First World War poetry in particular, in literature and history courses across the country. It is taught in most universities, FE colleges and, of course, at school level. It also continues to attract considerable public attention due to the cultural importance of the period for modern day Britain, and the way it shaped attitudes to warfare. The original Wilfred Owen archive has attracted over 1.2 million hits and is referenced by teachers and researchers worldwide. This project will open up access to other major British poets and a wider array of contextual material to build on that interest.

The multimedia online database of primary source material (manuscripts of poems, letters, diaries, etc) plus contextual information (images, audio and film material from the Imperial War Museum) is browsable and searchable, and freely available online. Among the 4,000 digital images (in addition to the 3000 items in the original archive), and 500 multimedia objects to be opened up to the public are drafts of Robert Graves's poems for Over the Brazier and Fairies and Fusiliers, drafts of Edward Thomas's war poems and diary, correspondence between Vera Brittain and Roland Leighton, the poetry drafts and letters of Isaac Rosenberg, plus the complete poetry manuscripts of Wilfred Owen. Widening its remit the archive also aims to include archival resources focusing on the role that women played during the war, and writing from the Home Front.

2 comments:

M-Dawg said...

I've used this web site when I teach WW I with my 9th graders. The visuals make it seem more real to them.

Good stuff! :-)

Also, the BBC has some great WW I stuff too. Simulations of trench warfare and dog fighting are among a few of the links on the site to check out. My students love the dog fighting simulation. :-)

World War 2 said...

Oh, never heard of the site. I should be able to use it too.
Thanks.