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Lives of the First World War

Discussion in 'Latest news' started by Alexander Bisset, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    The Imperial War Museum have created a new project to fulfil thier founding aim of telling the story of all 8 million UK & Commonwealth Lives of the First World War. Using modern technology they have been able to create an innovative platform where they plan to enable users to help piece together the stories of the people who fought and served as well as those on the home front. They are looking for people with an interest in family history to help build these stories by contributing digital copies of material from their own families and areas of interest. You will be able to use the platform to communicate with others who have an interest and who share a community interest with your family.

    Did your relative play football with others in the area, did he work at the same place, is he commemorated on a war memorial. By building up a picture of each individual and by linking in other resources like war diaries, local newspaper articles, family mementos etc the site aims to create a permanent digital memorial to all 8 million Individuals.



    The site launches in May however they are asking those with an interest in family history to register an interest now to get a preview of the site before launch and an opportunity to help improve the site before launch. You can register your interest at Lives of the First World War
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  2. Britjan

    Britjan LostCousins Star

    It's going to be interesting , I've recently reread some notes my mother wrote about her childhood and learned that my grandmother, the sole breadwinner for the family worked in a munitions factory at sometime during WWI. I haven't yet researched where exactly in London that might have been so it will be a new adventure. I am presently going carefully back over the Electoral registers to determine where the family lived after 1914, not an easy task but at least my grandfather although disabled was able to vote.
     
  3. Tim

    Tim Moderator Staff Member

    I've signed up. Lets see what they'd like us to do.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    One of the key differences that this site will have over others is that only IWM staff will create a page for a person, usually from "seed" data such as the medal card indexes. Users will be able to propose extra people such as those working in munitions factories but data will only be added with proof.

    Similarly uploading photos, digital images of letters etc you will be able to add material to a person but it will be verified and there will be opportunities for people to challenge the evidence. The idea is that it should be rigorous and data will be double checked so that they avoid random attributions to the wrong people. This is a "crowdsourced" academic project and academic levels of proof are to be applied. That doesn't mean your data will be rejected if you aren't sure, its just that is level of certainty will be set lower until someone else can unearth proof.

    The hope is that by combining things like war diaries, maps, photos, videos etc that a much fuller picture could be created. Eg:if a video is known to have been filmed at place X and it is known from diaries that regiment Y was there on that date and family photos of some soldiers are matched. Then it could be possible to identify the others in the film and link that to their page. Imagine the possibilities of creating all the links by piecing together millions of pieces of info that are in archives but haven't been appreciated because there wasnt a platform to bring it all together.

    Who knows you might be able to assist to make these links for your family and local area.
     
  5. Britjan

    Britjan LostCousins Star

    I certainly like the idea of academic rigour and I will be interested to see how the Commonwealth connection is handled.
     
  6. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    They are particularly interested in finding if there are record sets of companies eg:munitions workers etc that may be held in private archives or not yet digitised in public archives. The easy bit is seeding the data with the names and regimental details of existing digitised records. That will be their starter for ten. Their hope is the project will help unearth previously dormant archives that simply haven't been accessed.

    As they said at the presentation there are around 8 million stories to tell and some of those stories are extremely well documented. However most of the stories are untold as they are hidden in the recesses of dusty archives or are held by individual families. These are the stories that will get pieced together.

    There should also be opportunities for those who died and therefore who haven't got living relatives to have their stories told by volunteers "adopting" a hero and volunteering to add background details eg:census records, bmd indexes etc.
     
  7. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    The beta site was launched today I've posted a photo and a couple of source documents (birth & death) for my great grandfather. You can see how pages will grow by seeing his life story page from the small amount I've done so far.
     
  8. Heather

    Heather LostCousins Member

    Hi Alexander, Just tried the link and got a page that needs an invitation, an email address and password ( see below) is it ok to proceed further? Heather
    Log In

    We are currently in an invite-only preview period. You can request an invitation by signing up to stay informed on the home page.
    If you have already received your invitation you can create an account
     
  9. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    Yes it's only the beta site that is launched for those that pre-registered an interest. The full site is aimed to be open to the public in May. What I hadn't realised when I posted the link was that it was only visible to registered people. I'd thought that it would be visible to all but only editable by registered people, sorry about that. Still May isn't that far away.
     
  10. Liberty

    Liberty LostCousins Megastar

    I couldn't register - the page didn't get beyond the first screen. I guess my husband has the security set high on the computer, an d since it is his computer I don't think I'd better tinker with them.....

    By he way, I was tracking a collateral line on Ancestry yesterday and found one of my (very) distant relatives in 1911 in the Coldstream Guards. A link at the side referred me to deaths in WWI and I found that the poor chap was killed on 14 September 1914, presumably he was part of the BEF of professional soldiers sent at the beginning of the war.
     
  11. Britjan

    Britjan LostCousins Star

    I got my invitation yesterday and posted the two relevant census links for the first of my grandmother's two brothers to die in WWI. I can see it's going to be a long process.
     
  12. Liberty

    Liberty LostCousins Megastar

    I just picked up my invitation when I looked at my email this morning. Off to have a look!
     
  13. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    Hopefully that means people will be able to see how the site will look as I say I've done a small amount so far on my great grandfather his life story page should give you an idea of how things can get started.
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  14. VTinOZ

    VTinOZ Member

    The link just takes to a page for log in/account for those already invited... but it was a good thought Alexander.
     
  15. Liberty

    Liberty LostCousins Megastar

    One of those moments that makes me remember that Alexander is but a stripling. It was my grandfather and great uncles who fought in WWI - one generation less. (And his GGF page does look good - complete with photograph of Pte William Morrison in uniform)
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Britjan

    Britjan LostCousins Star

    I notice that a number of people offering suggestions at the Lives site like the idea of being able to link life stories particularly as it highlights the contribution of families. It's certainly an idea that would appeal to me having now entered information about three of my grandmother's brothers. I also like the idea of being able to "remember" any individual ( and not necessarily a relation) so that you can go back and see if any more information has been added. This time I had a bit of a problem with the FMP census references at the Lives site and had to go back to my original FMP record to see why Uncle Egbert wasn't appearing.
     
  17. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Star

    Having only very recently had my invitation to the site, I was wondering if more experienced users may be able to offer an opinion on the best way to add information to a person, please. I have started with my grandfather and have a birth certificate for him, but I'm wondering if it is better (easier?) to first connect him to his birth registration from the FMP references and then add the more detailed information from the certificate to that, or bypass the first step and add the information as being from "an official document".

    Many thanks.
     
  18. Tim

    Tim Moderator Staff Member

    What I did was to find all that I could from the searches that you can do when you press "Search Official Records".
    Once you have attached these records, you can then add Facts from those documents.
    Lastly, you can attach other supporting documents or personal knowledge data by using the other blue buttons.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  19. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Star

    OK, thanks Tim. It did seem like it might be easier that way so I'll give it a go.
     
  20. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    I have only attached records so far from sources I've previously found. As long as the source can be referenced so that anyone else can view it, eg: by a web address, then it is easy enough to add the facts.

    Note it is important to only add the facts actually contained in that source. If you know are entering a sign up document and know his fathers name from his birth certificate you can add that fact when adding a birth certificate but not when adding the sign up document.

    In theory anyone else should be able to look up the source you reference and see exactly the facts and only the facts you attached. Any information additional to the source should be added from a separate source.

    So if you know he lived at 123 some street, some town and the sign up document says he lived at some street, some town don't be tempted to add the house number if it isn't on the document you have quoted as the source.
     

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