First post

Bernard, 28 June 2012 · # ·

Libraries are full of stories, some of them we tell together.

Mary Lou has posted to the ALIA Sydney blog today as we prepare to embark on a new adventure to the years 1914-1918. She references Mosman Memories of your Street – where we crowdsource local history – and Mosman Faces – a more curated approach to telling stories. This project aims to do a bit of both, while exploring the possibilities afforded by the increasing availability of digitised materials.

Almost every town and suburb in Australia has a memorial to remember those in their community who went to war. We want to put faces to these names, link their service records to other people, places and events, and learn how a terrible war in Europe almost one hundred years ago impacted people in a community like Mosman.

This story will be written in collaboration with historians and archivists (and librarians), enthusiasts and volunteers, descendants and family members. It will also look to machines, and here we – like those boarding the troopships at Circular Quay – are stepping towards the unknown.

Dr Tim Sherratt, who leads this project, was our inspiration. We saw him talk about Invisible Australians at a State Library of NSW seminar. The way he brought to life records from the National Archives of Australia was a powerful example of how the digital humanities can help make sense of history.

Technology is a shared thread with those who served. They faced the first great modern conflict defined by its use of technology. We will look to web technologies to tell their stories.

How? That’s what we’re going to find out.

This blog gives us a space to share resources, code and story snippets. And we want you to be a part of it.

Photo: A refuge in the cellars of Ypres, Frank Hurley, 1917 – State Library of NSW, CC BY 3.0


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