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Oddly Enough

Collection of WWI diaries goes online

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 01:26

Jan. 14 - 1.5 million pages of World War One diaries are digitized in Britain, allowing the world's largest collection of WWI documents to be seen all around the world. Elly Park reports.

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1.5 million pages detailing life in the front lines of World War One. Soon it will be available online, thanks to Britain's National Archives which is taking on the mammoth task of digitizing one of the largest collections of World War One diaries. It's to make these records easily accessible says the archive's military records specialist William Spencer. SOUNDBITE: Military Records Specialist at the National Archives, William Spencer, saying (English): "What we have decided to do is digitize, to preserve the records obviously for future generations, very important, but also to make the material available for anybody, wherever they are in the world." But there's more. Members of the public are asked to make sense of the diaries in a project called "Operation War Diary." An army of volunteers, who are called "citizen historians", mine them for information. Each time a date, place or name is found, it will be tagged allowing users to search for specific soldiers or battles. Anyone who's interested can sign up on crowdsourcing site Zooniverse - which says it already has around a million volunteers, but is looking for even more. Organizers hope to get the World War One project completed before 2019, the year marking the centennial of the end of the conflict.

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Collection of WWI diaries goes online

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 01:26