2. The Great War Archive Rolls Out in Europe

Photo from the public participation day

We are very pleased to announce that OUCS has signed a formal agreement with the Europeana Foundation to extend The Great War Archive collection into Europe. Initially this will involve OUCS staff working with our partners in Europeana and The German National Library to run the project in Germany. We hope to extend into other countries on the continent 2011-2014.

OUCS staff from the RunCoCo project, based in the Learning Technologies Group, have travelled to Germany to deliver training to librarians and archivists who will run public participation days for a Europeana - funded project to collect memories of the First World War, 'Erster Weltkrieg in Alltagsdokumenten' (in English and German)

Photo of preparing one family's memorabilia

OUCS staff work with a German librarian to prepare a huge private collection of memorabilia from one family’s experience of the First World War

Public participation day at die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek in Frankfurt for the 'Erster Weltkrieg in Alltagsdokumenten' project. The day was facilitated by staff from the OUCS.

Speaking from the train from Berlin to Munich, RunCoCo project manager, Alun Edwards, explains that “We have had an extremely successful training day in the German National Library (Deutsche Nationalbibliothek) in Frankfurt am Main, followed immediately by an actual day with the public so everyone could put into practice what they have learned. Much of the training was based on our experiences of running the pilot initiative in the UK in 2008 that was called The Great War Archive.

We next helped run a well-attended public day at the Berlin Staatsbibliothek. Now we are en route to Munich to help with another public day at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, before going on to Stuttgart.”

During the public days the OUCS team helped the German staff and volunteers engage with the participants, offered advice and information about what the public had brought along, and operated the cameras and scanners and voice recorders which are used to digitise the objects and to capture the story that goes with those objects.

The OUCS team developed the open source software to collect this material online, called CoCoCo (Community Contributed Collection), which can be used by any project running their own community collection. The team also created the bi-lingual website for the project 'Erster Weltkrieg in Alltagsdokumenten'.

Photo of how to do the digital capture

The OUCS director shows a librarian and a historian the process for digital capture

There is a promotional film which communicates in under 5 minutes what we’re trying to do. The film can be viewed on YouTube.

For blog posts about the developments, and news as we’re on the road and follow us on Twitter @RunCoCo.

You can also follow our 2011 conference online.

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