It’s been quite a year since the launch of the Historypin First World War Centenary Hub, the free digital home for groups running a centenary commemoration projects around the world. These tireless groups of archivists, librarians, teachers and local history societies – 366 and counting – are using their own individual Collection spaces on the Historypin hub to share and celebrate the results of their research, engagement and outreach as they put the local experiences of the War into context and invite community, faith and arts groups to contribute their own responses to 1914-1918. In all, they have posted 4,387 new items to Historypin, in the process creating a massively collaborative map and generating more than a hundred thousand online views of their material. We’d love to have you and your groups represented.
We’ve found that the most successful members of the Historypin Centenary Hub are reaching out directly and proactively to their volunteers and supporters, using events, social media and one-to-one introductions to create two-way conversations with their audiences, with their personalised Collection spaces at the centre. As The Friends of Redcar Cemetery said, “The Centenary Hub has definitely given our documentary film a wider audience and we enjoy the opportunity to have access to other projects like ours. It feels like being part of a community with mutual benefits and makes the possibility of information sharing much easier.”
A fascinating finding from the hub has been the juxtaposition of the old and the new: the archival photographs, scans of war diaries and medals sitting alongside contemporary reflections and artworks, including recordings of musical recitals, plays and creative works. With each group able to set their own full-screen hero image and introductory text, each Hub Collection has really developed its own flavour and tone, and the result for visitors has been an immersive experience with excellent results for metrics such as time-on-site and repeat visits.
Here are a few great examples of what some of these groups have done:
- Saanich Archives in Victoria, Canada are working with the local community to complete the Saanich Honor Roll, inviting people to contribute photos and information and help research people on the honor list.
- The Next of Kin Project is exploring the impact of the war in Scotland through family histories and testimonies. They are sharing materials from museum collections and taking a travelling exhibit venues in Scotland, gathering more local stories to add to their collection.
- No Game For Girls investigated the influence of the war on women’s football, including reconstructing a women’s 1917 football match.
Join us on the Historypin Centenary Hub and discover some more fascinating gems, such as:
- Underwater videos of First World War shipwrecks
- Photographs of troops in Paris overlaid on Street View
- Activities inspired by the 1914 Christmas truce
- Contemporary images of Anzac Day 2014 and 2015
Historypin First World War Centenary Hub collections are open to all and free of charge, thanks to generous support from the First World War Partnership including Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Imperial War Museum.
To find out more, read An Introduction to the First World War Centenary Hub, or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.