The legacy of World War One in terms of social, economic and political global change cannot be overstated; it changed the individual’s view of society and their place within it with far-reaching effects into their future and our past. In the words of H.G. Wells: ‘This is the end and the beginning of an age’.
To mark this event in international history is therefore a key priority for custodians of heritage and educators alike.
JISC has already made considerable efforts to preserve online the memories and writings of those active during the First World War. The popular Great War Poetry Archive was funded by JISC to digitise precious documents relating to the poetry of the Great War – including Wilfred Owen’s original notes for the well known poem Dulce et Decorum Est. It also includes podcasts with eminent historians and veterans including the writer and broadcaster Ian Hislop talking about his grandfather’s experience in action and why he is so ‘obsessed’ with the First World War. The Serving Soldier collection might also interest you as a way of finding out about the lives of soldiers from 1899 to 1918, a period which spans the Second Boer War, Younghusband Expedition and World War One.
However, as the centennary of the First World War looms in 2014, the JISC activities as outlined in this blog offer an opportunity to technologically assess and re-assess the war’s academic importance, its legacy and it lessons for us all so that rememberance and understanding remains as personal and real for future generations.