[live blog] #DHOxSS Kate Lindsay, Re-imaging the First World War. How can digital humanities move us beyond the trenches?

[live blog, so excuse the errors, omissions and personal perspective]

Talk from @KTdigital, Manager for Engagement | Education Enhancement, Academic IT Services, University of Oxford.

Standard narratives of the war have a long history. But, global impact of the war often underplayed, as is gender. Anniversary provides an opportunity to tell new stories: so not just war poetry!

And yet, Oxford started digitisation in late-90s with Wilfred Owen poems, and then added more First World War poetry digital archive: oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit Teachers like digital collections: drafts of poems together on digital platforms challenge idea of final version. Public submission system for private ww1 collections. Know these people not IT literate. So held 6 roadshow days. 6500 submissions in 12 weeks. Captured stories as well as photographs of letters/objects. JISC funded Oxford to train other people in this model runcoco.oucs.ox.ac.uk @runcoco Initially no login. Just contribution to a community owned collection. Took this opportunity to explore how this model could be used for very different collections.

Europeana took the model @europeana1914. Very successful. Over 20,000 objects collected in Germany alone Continuing to offer training to Europeana on rapid digitisation. 60k objects in total digitised. Europeana 1914-1918 allows us to move away from Anglo focus on WW1: objects from all countries together. Eclectic collections. What do they mean? How can they be meaningfully used? Comments on the blog, bringing together disparate knowledge and family histories. Work with schools. Objects as a means of connecting children and heritage. General public ‘knows’ an awful lot about WW1. Project generated emails, people correcting descriptions (eg bus ticket). Public as providing context around the content.

Feed all this into high quality educational tools, in this case an OER ww1centenary.oucs.ox.ac.uk Wordpress base, community blog supporting teaching of WW1. Very much focused on the cultural stories that surround the conflict. Audio and video talks uploaded to iTunesU, 60k downloads (open licence: preferring CC-BY NC SA); resource library. Most popular areas the visualisations, which mash up data: scrapping wikipedia/media for content and mapping it. Or maps showing editors of WW1 related wiki pages: show the afterlife of particular battles. CWGC opened up data for graves viz: again, shows the global aspect of the war.

Snowball effect of the projects back to back, ready made audiences when new project launch. Measuring impact from the start helps one project roll into the next. Moving now from a project model to a consultancy model.


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