Recently I’ve spoken to a number of people involved in projects researching those who enlisted for military service in World War 1. As the centenary of WW1 approaches, there seem to be many commemoration projects underway and these projects seem to be running largely in isolation. What other projects are you aware of?
A man – Hilda Rix Nicholas, 1921 AWM ART19613
A few weeks ago I joined in the Mosman Library Buildathon to see what a local council library might get up to in starting up their own digital humanities project. This post reports on the experience of a small team (2 of us! Virginia – a freelance historian, and myself, an information professional) trawling through online databases to ‘see what we could see’.
The five diaries of stretcher bearer and despatch rider W.J.A. “Allan” Allsop at the Mitchell Library, collected in 1919 and now scanned and transcribed, are a fantastic resource. But they’re somewhat hidden within the State Library of NSW website and the viewing experience is not the best. See, for example, the album view and transcript of Item 4 on the SLNSW website. How can we bring the diary contents to life?
A Local Studies exhibition in 2009 – Mosman Headliners – revealed some of the great scandals and crimes that lie behind Mosman’s apparent tranquility. One of the most significant came to a positive conclusion thanks in part to the WWI poets.
A Mosman boy of 15 who bluffed his way to fight at Gallipoli, was wounded and repatriated home only to re-enlist under his real name for the Western Front in 1917; a pioneering Australian aviator who saw the future of air travel decades before most, went broke several times doing it, and crashed in the Pacific just as formal recognition and a knighthood was to be his.