Saturday, 16 November 2013

Centenary of World War I

Libraries, Archives, Museums and other collecting organizations are making available their information relating to World War I via indexing projects, digitisation of documents and displays. The amount of material available will increase during the next few years.

Recently in my Family Connections blog I added a post Unlocking Family History- Military Records which mentions currently available military resources on some library, archive and museum websites.

In Australia and New Zealand the major emphasis will be on events in 1915 when the Anzacs fought at Gallipoli and then in subsequent battles, particularly in France. A number of grant opportunities have been made available for Councils and collecting organisations to tell the story of the effect of the war on their community, research information on those who served and also how the war affected life at home.

Anzac Centenary grants

100 years of Anzac -

Blogs can be a useful way to record information about people and organisations within a community showing connections with the First World War. An excellent example is the blog, The Empire Called and I Answered, moderated since 2010 by Lenore Frost recording information about men who served from Essendon and Flemington. Lenore has also created a database Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington.

Whitehorse Manningham Libraries has a database on their website Diggers Database recording the names of those from Whitehorse and Manningham whose names appear on war memorials and other community memorials and boards.

Other organisations are also compiling lists of those who served in their region.

A recent issue of the Genealogist, the magazine of the Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies, contains an article about the Sweetland Project where the RSLs from Blackburn, Mitcham and Box Hill, in conjuction with a researcher from Deakin University, are investigating the lives of 29 men from the local area killed at Gallipoli for a book to be published in 2015. A list of the names and service numbers of the men is provided. Seven of the men died on Anzac Day.

The many projects being undertaken by libraries, historical societies, Councils, RSLs and schools collectively will provide an overview of the effect of World War I on local families and communities.

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