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Languages and the First World War

Languages and the First World War is a cross-disciplinary research project exploring change within languages and how languages influenced each other during a period of crisis and conflict.


English Words in War-Time, Tracking Language on the Move in WW1

In a series of blogs, the ‘English Words in War-Time’ project tracks a detailed and largely unexamined record of language by Andrew Clark on the Home Front, and the reporting of war in a critical period of social and historical change.




The Virtual Gramophone, Library and Archives Canada

The Virtual Gramophone hosts a sample of Canadian music from the First World War. It also provides biographical articles of musicians with digitized historical material which explain the musical developments of the time.


Library of Congress, National Jukebox, Historical Recordings

The National Jukebox of the Library of Congress makes historical sound recordings available to the public free of charge. The Jukebox includes more than 10,000 recordings made by the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1901 and 1925.




British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent

The British Cartoon Archive at the University of Kent’s Templeman Library holds collections by over three hundred cartoonists. Many of these have been digitised and catalogued, and can be found among the 170,000 digitized items on the BCA website.


The Daily Telegraph war cartoons

A collection of First World War cartoons from the Daily Telegraph, uploaded to Flickr by the State Library of New South Wales.


JM’s World War One Sketchbooks

A collection of illustrations from a set of two World War One sketchbooks uploaded by the University of Victoria’s Special Collections Library. The collection contains watercolour and pen and ink images produced by a British soldier stationed in France and Belgium between 1917 and 1918.


Louis Raemaekers Foundation

A website dedicated to the Dutch artist Louis Raemaekers. It includes a gallery showing of many of his works.



Canadian Letters and Images Project, Vancouver Island University, Department of History

An online archive of the Canadian war experience (various wars, including WWI) as told through the letters and images of Canadians themselves. The collections include correspondence, diaries, photographs, postcards and other miscellaneous items. All correspondence has been transcribed, retaining the original spelling, punctuation and paragraph formatting. When available, the transcriptions are accompanied by scans of the original pages.


Bund Deutscher Philatelisten e.V.

A collection of German armed forces’ correspondence with friends and family from 1914-1918.


Letters of 1916, Maynooth University

A crowd-sourced digital collection of letters written around the time of the Easter Rising (1 November 1915 – 31 October 1916).



Tagebücher, Württembergische Landesbibliothek Stuttgart

The Württembergische Landesbibliothek Stuttgart hosts four diaries of participants in World War I, as well as some letters. The materials are in German.


Operation War Diary: Reports from the Front, The National Archives and The Imperial War Museums

Thisproject has digitized 1.5 million pages of unit war diaries from the British Army on the Western Front during the First World War. Its crowd-sourcing features allow users to help tag and classify the collection.



La Grande Guerra 1914-1918, L'Espresso

A digital collection of Italian diaries during the First World War, which are searchable by theme, author or location.


Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries, Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial published a series of Australian Imperial Forces' war diaries from the First World War. In these diaries units were required to report their daily activities summarizing events, reporting intelligence and recording dates and locations.


Journaux des unités engagées dans la Première Guerre mondiale, Ministère des Armées

The French armed forces published a digitized archive of their units' First Worl War diaries. It consists of of over three million pages of diaries from the Armée de Terre, the Aéronautique militaire and the French navy.



Voci della grande guerra

A digital archive of Italian soldiers’ writings from the First World War. The texts, chosen by historians and linguists, are intended to represent the various and diverse ways of describing and narrating the First World War.



WW1 – The Definitive Collection, British Pathé

The British Pathé was a film, newsreel and music company founded in Britain in 1910, and is now a newsreel archive containing 85,000 films. Its World War I archive is sorted into over 50 categories and contains more than 100 historical films.


Australians at War Film Archive, Australian Government, Department of Veterans' Affairs

The Film Archive “Australians at War” is an Australian Government initiative designed to film and record the stories of over two thousand war veterans who served from World War I to today in the Australian Defence Force.


1914-1918, ARD

This media library provides television programmes and articles about the First World War. The website is in German.



European Film Gateway

The EFG Portal provides access to hundreds of thousands of film historical documents as preserved in European film archives and cinémathèques: photos, posters, programmes, periodicals, censorship documents, rare feature and documentary films, newsreels and other materials.



Der moderne Krieg im Film/Modern War on Screen, Erich Maria Remarque-Friedenszentrum Osnabrück

This database presents information on international war and anti-war films of all genres, from feature films to documentaries. It provides details (title, year of production, director, actors, etc.) as well as film abstracts and short biographies of those participating. Furthermore, the database offers information on the films’ whereabouts in national archives, their availability on various media platforms, and selected bibliographic references. A detailed keyword-index enables searching by war, topic, motif or certain film-specific expressions.



Erster Weltkrieg, Filmportal

A collection of German video footage from the First World War. 


Focus on film: The Great War, National Archives Learning Curve

A collection of short clips with background information from The National Archives’ Film Archives. The material is predominantly from 1915-16 and focuses on the Battle of the Somme.


Colonial Film. Moving Images of the British Empire, Arts and Humanities Research Council

The colonial film archives contain footage from the former British empire, including reports on the First World War.


Estonian Film Archives

More than 600 archives have registered and digitized their material. The growing archive contains over 275 000 film, photo, and video sources.


Literature & Poetry

The First World War Poetry Archive, University of Oxford

An online repository of more than 7,000 items of text, images, audio and video. The archive consists of collections of primary material from major poets of the period. This is supplemented by a comprehensive range of multimedia artifacts from the Imperial War Museums, a separate archive of over 6,500 items contributed by the general public (see “The Great War Archive” at http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa/), and a set of specially developed educational resources.


Sassoon Journals, Cambridge Digital Library

This collection contains digitized 23 diaries written by Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967), one of the British War Poets.



Atlas of World War I, Wikimedia Commons

This atlas on Wikimedia Commons contains maps of the progression of the First World War, organised by location, date and battle.


World War I, David Rumsey Map Collection, Cartography Associates

A digitized sample (32,000 items) of the David Rumsey Map Collection (150,000 maps), allowing viewers to access and then compare, analyze and view items in new and experimental ways. The collection focuses on rare 18th and 19th century maps of North and South America, but also has maps of the world, Asia, Africa, Europe and Oceania. The collection includes atlases, wall maps, globes, school geographies, pocket maps, and more. Items range from about 1700 to the 1950s.



Map Archive, University of Halle-Wittenberg

A German-language collection of more than 100,000 maps, including many relating to WWI



The Geography of the Great War, Frank McMurray, Internet Archive

Digitized copy of the 1919 edition of Frank McMurray’s book The Geography of the Great War, containing various maps, photos, and charts listing population and military statistics.



Cartographie 1914-1918, Le front ouest de la première guerre mondiale

Cartographie 1914-1918 maps troop movements along the Western Front and allows every date to be selected on a calendar.


Campaign Atlas to the Great War, West Point Academy, Department of History

A database of campaign and battle maps from WWI.


Newspapers & Magazines

Liste der digitalisierten Zeitungen, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin

The Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin provides digital copies of 171 German and foreign German-language newspapers. The database and newspapers are in German.



Zeitungen, Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Bonn

The University and State Library of Bonn provides access to digitalised newspapers from the Rhine region. The database and newspapers are in German.




In 2014, the magazine Aera republished newspaper articles that had been published exactly 100 years ago in Germany.


The Stars and Stripes: The American Soldiers' Newspaper of World War I, 1918-1919, Library of Congress

The complete edition of the newspaper, “The Stars and Stripes,” published in France by the United States Army from February 1918 to June 1919. The eight-page weekly featured news, poetry, cartoons and sports coverage.



Photo Archive, LIFE Magazine

World War I photographs in the LIFE photo archive, hosted by Google.



Feldzeitungen aus dem 1. Weltkrieg – online, Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg

An online archive of 19 German and French language “trench papers” from World War I, digitalized and published by the University of Heidelberg Library.


Historische Bestände- digital, Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg

The University of Heidelberg's digital collection contains a wealth of historical sources including a large collection of German books, newspapers and magazines.


Die Kriegssammlung der Fürstlichen Bibliothek Detmold, Lippische Landesbibliothek

An online archive of 42 German soldier newspapers from World War I, digitalized by the Lippe State Library (Lippische Landesbibliothek).



Jüdische Periodika 1806-1938, Compact Memory, RWTH Aachen University

An online archive of Jewish newspapers and periodicals from 1806 to 1938.



ANNO – Austrian Newspapers Online, The National Austrian Library

An online archive of Austrian newspapers and periodicals from 1700 to 1941. There is also a section, “Extraausgaben des 1. Weltkrieges,” containing newspapers’ special editions – often only a single page – during WWI.



Luxemburgensia online, The National Library of Luxembourg

An online archive of the Luxembourg National Library’s collection of newspapers, periodicals, literature, reference works and post cards. Of primary relevance for WWI research is the postcard collection.



Dutch newspaper database 1618-1995, Koninklijke Bibliotheek/Historische Kranten

A collection of Dutch newspapers from 1618 to 1995; Dutch-language only.



World War I Centennial Gallery

An online archive of over 600 articles from English-language magazines that focus on various aspects of the First World War. All articles were published between 1914 and 1918.


Trove, National Library of Australia

The Trove database offer 488,292,314 digitized historic books, images, newspapers, maps and more.


Biblioteca Virtual de Prensa Historica, Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte

The Virtual Library of Historical Newspapers has digitized thousands of historical newspapers from the Spanish-speaking world and includes the ability to search for any word on any page of any digital newspaper.


Hemeroteca Digital, Biblioteca Nacional de España

Hemeroteca Digital is part of the Biblioteca Digital Hispánica project, providing public access to the newspaper collection of Biblioteca Nacional de España.


1914-1918 Der Erste Weltkrieg im Spiegel hessischer Regionalzeitungen, Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst

A collection of regional newspapers from Hesse during the First World War.


Bibliothèque Numérique de Lyon

The bibliothèque numérique de Lyon digitized French trench logs and trench newspaper from the First World War.


The Illustrated First World War from the archives of The Illustrated London News

The archive offers a variety of British illustrated newspapers from the First World War.



World War I Pamphlet Collection, UNCG Digital Collections

This collection of 412 pamphlets from the First World War contains pamphlets on military campaigns, women's labour and civilian support of the war.



World War I Pamphlet Collection, Penn Libraries

This collection of World World I pamphlets, hosted by Penn Libraries, contains pamphlets from America, Britain, France and Sweden.



LUCERNA – the Magic Lantern Web Resource

LUCERNA is an online resource on the magic lantern, an early slide projector invented in the 17th century. This database includes details of slide sets, slide images, readings and other texts related to slide sets, lantern hardware, people and organisations involved in lantern history, and much more, including slides from the First World War.



Allied Posters of World War I, Temple University Libraries

This collection, by Temple University Libraries, contains over 1,500 posters from the allied powers in World War I.



The War Posters Collections, University of Minnesota Libraries and Hennepin County Library

This collection of war posters includes commercial, government and charitable posters.



French World War I Posters, University of Illinois Library

This website presents digitised versions of 105 posters from the University of Illinois archives that were published in France during the First World War. Each poster is accompanied by a transcription of the French text and an English translation. 



Canadian Wartime Propaganda, Canadian War Museum

This database of war posters is from the collection of the Canadian War Museum. The database is available in French and English.


War Poster Collection, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections Division

This database of World War I and II posters, hosted by the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections Division, includes examples of Dutch, German, American and British posters. 


World War Poster Collection, UNT Digital Library

This collection of war posters includes French, American and German posters which exhort the civilian populations to buy war bonds, support the war and help to provide food aid.


American War Posters from the First World War, Bancroft Library

168 digitized American posters from World War I, hosted by Bancroft Library. 


Plakat-Datenbank der Bibliothek für Zeitgeschichte: Ausschnitt Erster Weltkrieg, Württembergische Landesbibliothek Stuttgart

This collection of German posters from the First World War, hosted by the Württembergische Landesbibliothek Stuttgart, includes proclamations from German military authorities in the occupied territories. The database and posters are in German. 


"Take Up the Sword of Justice," British Posters of World War One from the Roger N. Mohovich Collection, Georgetown University

The online exhibition displays 25 British posters created during WWI and held by the Roger N. Mohovich Collection.



The Poster War: Allied Propaganda Art of the First World War, Royal Alberta Museum

The virtual exhibit contains 46 posters representing some of the work of Allied poster artists and their Canadian counterparts during WWI.



Canadian War Posters, McGill University Library Digital Collections

The holdings of the Print Collection in the Rare Books and Special Collections Division include some 250 Canadian posters from the two World Wars. The website contains basic descriptions in French and English and images of each poster, an artist index, a search function, and an essay about Canadian War Posters. The search function enables users to search by World War, category, artist and keyword.




14-18: La Suisse en cartes postales (14-18: Switzerland in Postcards), Université de Fribourg

The digital collection “14-18: La Suisse en cartes postales (14-18: Switzerland in Postcards)” was created at the Université de Fribourg with postcards from the holdings of the Swiss National Library in Bern. The postcards have been arranged around six themes, for example “propaganda & ideology” and “humour & satire”. The website is in French.  


War Posters and Postcards, University of Minnesota Libraries and Hennepin County Library

This collection of posters and postcards contains materials from the University of Minnesota Libraries as well as the Hennepin County Library. 


World War I Postcards from the Bowman Gray Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This collection of First World War postcards includes French, American and Russian postcards. The database is in English, and English translations are provided for postcards in other languages. 


Christmas cards, 1915-1919, National Library of Wales

This collection of 101 Christmas cards received by received by Sergeant Major Fear is held by the National Library of Wales. 


Les Cartes Postales dans les Fonds de La Contemporaine, Mission Centenaire 14-18

This website displays postcards from La Contemporaine collections. They are grouped by theme, with categories such as “Kitsch” and “Barbarians, ogres and assassins … anti-German propaganda in post cards”. The website is in French. 



Picture Postcards from World War I, zeno.org

An online collection of picture postcards from WWI, grouped into categories such as “regimental jobs” and “beer and games”.



Historische Bildpostkarten, Universität Osnabrück, Sammlung Prof. Dr. S. Giesbrecht: Der Erste Weltkrieg auf der Bildpostkarte

The database contains more than thousand picture postcards produced during WWI, sorted by categories such as “war propaganda” and “music and songs”.


First World War postcards from the George Eastman House

A collection of Entente postcards, mostly French, uploaded to Flickr by the George Eastman House.


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