Jeff also sent in this press release. Regular readers of this blog know that we've been putting WW1 books up on the Internet Archive and our Flickr sites. We've scanned thousands of images as well, but haven't figured out how to put them online yet. I like the family heirloom part of this site though.
The University of Oxford uses CONTENTdm(r) to digitise rare First World War resource collections
Birmingham, UK, 08 December 2008: The 90th anniversary of the Armistice sees The University of Oxford launch the final element of two remarkable online First World War archives that provide open access to an unrivalled database of primary source material as part of the JISC Digitisation Programme.
The University of Oxford's 'First World War Poetry' and 'Great War' Digital Archives hold over 7,000 and 6,500 digital images respectively and both use OCLC's CONTENTdm software to store, manage and make available online, these fabulous collections of highly valued materials.
The 'First World War Poetry Archive' builds on the success of the University's existing Wilfred Owen archive, already referenced by teachers and researchers worldwide. Highlights of the collection include poems, maps, letters and diaries from various eminent 'front line' poets. The works of Wilfred Owen, Edward Thomas, Robert Graves, Isaac Rosenberg, Vera Brittain and Roland Leighton appear alongside other contextual and teaching resources such as photographs, audio and film material.
In addition the University's 'Great War Archive' website brings together thousands of digital images of items submitted by members of the public. The majority of these images are of treasured family heirlooms which have never been on 'public display' until now.
Obviously due to the nature of these materials they were previously widely dispersed and in very fragile condition. They needed to be digitized in order to preserve, improve usability and widen access - delivering the collections digitally via the Web.
After assessing various solutions available, the University chose and implemented OCLC's CONTENTdm Digital Collection Management Software because of its flexibility as a system for the delivery of digital collections to the Web.
"We chose CONTENTdm as it best suited our requirements for customisation and the many ways in which data can be exported" explains Michael Loizou, Oxford University's Technical Lead.
Kate Lindsay, Oxford University's Project Leader expands "The Great War is arguably the most resonant period in modern British history. These memorabilia and poetry archives will provide easy access to an unrivalled collection of material which will be of use to anyone interested in getting closer to this world-changing conflict... One of the main reasons for building these archives with CONTENTdm is its versatility in the types of media that it can handle. Our requirements for these archives were very demanding. We invested time working with and customising CONTENTdm to meet these needs, that the system supports this is one of its main benefits."
Anyone interested in viewing these archives can do so by visiting