Spotlight on: The NMA’s online World War I portal, Remembering 1914-18

5 Posted by - 18 November 2015 - Feature stories

There are soldiers’ identity discs, war medals and postcards exchanged between soldiers and their loved ones back home. There’s a children’s board game called Trencho, inspired by trench warfare. A booklet commemorating the first Anzac Day in 1916. A nomad’s tribal dagger given to a war pilot after a crash-landing in the desert.

A booklet published by the Queensland Department of Public Instruction commemorating the first Anzac Day in 1916. Courtesy NMA and Sam Birch. Click on image for more.

A booklet published by the Queensland Department of Public Instruction commemorating the first Anzac Day in 1916. Courtesy NMA and Sam Birch. Click on the image for more.

You’ll find touching remnants of a trousseau painstakingly prepared by a 1910s-era bride for a marriage that would never eventuate – packed away after her betrothed was killed at war. There is a 1916 pro-conscription badge, a symbol of the referendums that divided the nation. And even some ant specimens collected by a German entomologist during his imprisonment in two New South Wales internment camps as an ‘enemy alien’ – and so much more.

These are just some of the 100+ objects and stories shared on Remembering 1914 –18 Objects, Stories and Emotions, a collaborative online collection of First World War experiences launched by the National Museum of Australia.

Aiming to commemorate the centenary of World War I, the site is an interactive portal cataloguing the diversity of Australians’ experiences in the First World War. Remembering 1914-18 brings to life the wartime era, and the people who lived through it, by sharing key events of the war both abroad and on the home front alongside snapshots of personal stories.

Creating a national connection to the people and events of the Great War, Remembering 1914-18 allows you to explore life, love and war as experienced in a young nation a century ago. While much of the content is drawn from the National Museum’s collections, there are also objects and stories shared by users.

A toy kangaroo adorned with First World War badges or buttons that were sold to raise money. Courtesy NMA. Click the image for more

A toy kangaroo adorned with First World War badges or buttons that were sold to raise money. Courtesy NMA. Click the image for more

Explore the site for yourself. You can browse the collection visually, through a timeline, a written list of its contents or a matrix of emotional responses, or simply through a keyword search.

You can help contribute to the site by sharing an object of your own. Simply sign up on the site, upload an image of the object and share the story behind it. Your submission will be verified by the Remembering project team before it is published and shared with others. You can also create your own collections of objects.

One of May Gibbs' gum nut cards that carried messages of home to soldiers on the front. Courtesy NMA and George Serras. Click on image for more.

One of May Gibbs’ gum nut cards that carried messages of home to soldiers on the front. Courtesy NMA and George Serras. Click on the image for more.

The interactive website will remain open until 11 November 2018, at which point it will become a permanent digital archive and learning resource for future generations.

Click here for further information on Remembering 1914-18.

A silk-embroidered postcard sent by Alf Barkle from France to his mother. Courtesy NMA and Katie Shanahan. Click on image for more information

A silk-embroidered postcard sent by Alf Barkle from France to his mother. Courtesy NMA and Katie Shanahan. Click on the image for more.

Brought to you by the National Museum of Australia.

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