Today the Great War Archive opened for submissions. This is a very big and very innovative project started by Oxford University to collect digital facsimiles of documents, photographs, recordings, and artefacts relating to the First World War (it seems to be primarily about the UK but they haven’t explicitly mentioned any geographical limits) from private individuals. This means that lots of family collections which were previously unknown and inaccessible will be made available to the public (and since the terms for contributors state that material will only be used for educational non-commercial purposes I’d hope that access is going to be free). Anyone can contribute material by uploading it through the project’s website, and there will also be special events where people who don’t have the IT skills or equipment can bring items along to have them digitized.
This is a really exciting project, and I hope it all goes well. We’ll be contributing the Wenham letters that I’ve been working on (although I’m still planning to put TEI transcripts on my own site eventually, along with all the same kind of record linkage that I’ve done with Sandall’s history), so I’ll soon be able to report on how easy it is to upload stuff and what kind of metadata they collect.
If everything goes to plan the archive will be open to viewers from 11th November 2008.