With your generous support, the MacOdrum library would like to purchase the first module of the First World War which will benefit many students pursuing studies in diverse disciplines.

The First World War: Personal Experiences is a wonderful collection of primary source documents drawn from archives across the globe. The documents are varied in scope and offer a remarkable window on the lives and experiences of men and women during the First World War. The resource is designed for both teaching and study, from undergraduate to research students and beyond.

Primary sources provide a rich seam of;

  • Daily life and routines in the army and auxiliary services
  • Trench warfare and conditions in the trenches
  • Food and supplies
  • Battles and warfare
  • Training and discipline
  • Weapons and equipment
  • Camaraderie and friendship
  • Death
  • Health and medicine
  • Thoughts on the enemy
  • More complex themes of faith, morale, citizenship, mortality, masculinity, race and class can also be explored.

A wide variety of material types are provided, including;

  • Diaries and journals
  • Letters
  • Personal narratives and reminiscences
  • Trench literature and soldiers’ journals
  • Postcards
  • Scrapbooks and albums
  • Photographs and 360° views of personal items and objects
  • Oral histories
  • Sketches and paintings
  • Ephemera
  • Sheet music
  • Photographs
  • War art
  • Cartoons and comics
  • Propaganda and recruiting posters
  • Trench maps

The resource includes a significant collection of digitally captured objects used during the war period which have been sourced from museums and collections in the Ypres region. Many smaller and medium size objects are presented in 360° mode such as helmets, gas masks, hats, shells and grenades. Our innovative 360° object viewer enables browsers to manipulate the movement of an object within the frame allowing them to view the object from every angle. Also included are 50 oral histories of veterans and those who lived through the First World War, sourced from the Sound Archive at Imperial War Museums, and featuring accompanying transcriptions.

Supplementing the primary source material is a wealth of secondary resources, including interactive maps, 360° panoramas and walk-throughs of the Sanctuary Wood Trench System, the Memory Wall, In Their Own Words feature, scholarly essays, a visual gallery, chronology and glossary.