Europeana Collections 1914-1918 logo

Europeana Collections 1914-1918

1 May 2011 to: 30 April 2014

Europeana Collections 1914-1918 created the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War - a substantial digital collection of material from national library collections of ten libraries in eight countries that found themselves on different sides of the historic conflict.

In the run-up to 2014 and in the following years, strong interest in the topic is expected from a wide variety of users – including the general public, local and family historians, education professionals, archives, museums and historical societies, people working in the media, the arts or in the tourism industry.

The project consortium made available to Europeana 425.000 especially relevant items that have been selected with help from specialists and target user groups according to agreed quality criteria. They span the full range of national library collections including books, newspapers, trench journals, maps, children's literature, posters, pamphlets, propaganda leaflets, medals and coins. The digital collection will go far beyond any existing digital collection on the topic in terms of size, quality and diversity and will make Europeana the first stop for quality content on the "Great War". The consortium enlarged the network and encouraged other memory institutions to contribute more relevant content. Europeana Collections 1914-1918 made a vast amount of sources available online for the first time – content that is often rare and highly fragile because of the deteriorating quality of the paper it was produced on and generally only accessible in reading rooms.

The material highlights the importance of WWI for a common European identity and is reflective of the different experiences of individuals and groups on all sides of the conflict including different ethnic, linguistic, political, social and religious communities and those opposed to the war.