World War 1 centenary projects
Recently I’ve spoken to a number of people involved in projects researching those who enlisted for World War 1. As the centenary of WW1 approaches, the many commemoration projects seem to be running largely in isolation.
Some projects are run in conjunction with local libraries, with volunteer researchers adding information to local studies collections. Other projects aim to produce CDs or books to be sold.
The lack of coordination between the various projects could lead to overlapping of people of interest. Someone might have been born in Mosman, but lived in Ryde at the time of enlisting – and so both areas’ projects might flag the individual as someone to be researched. Indeed that individual may even appear on the war memorial in yet another location, if a family member contributed the soldier’s name to their local war memorial.
When research resources are scarce, it makes sense for there to be some coordination between the projects to identify which individuals are being researched and in which resources. How best to do this? Local studies librarians’ networks allow sharing information about their projects, but what about projects not coordinated by libraries?
One possibility might be adding a small notice onto the Mapping our Anzacs website, which allows submissions of scrapbook entries. Obviously anyone can contribute photos or research about the lives of family members, but it would also be possible to add a scrapbook post that says something like ‘This individual is being researched by the Mosman 1914-18 project – further information can be found at …’
Thus whether the information gathered in research is intended to be freely available at a library or website, or even sold in a commercial publication, anyone interested in that WW1 participant would be directed to further information. Also the various project coordinators could make informed decisions about whether or not to proceed with researching an individual already being considered as part of another project.
‘War memorials in NSW’ includes a spreadsheet of summary information about names on particular memorials. The various projects could consider adding information to those spreadsheets, and also add details of additional memorials to those already included on the site.
Those involved in the various projects should also be aware of the Australian Government Anzac Centenary funding grants and publicity.
What other projects are you aware of?