Project coordination: Dr. Margit Wunsch Gaarmann (Tel: +49 30 838 52984)
Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Address: Freie Universität Berlin, Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut,
Department of Modern History, Koserstr. 20, D-14195 Berlin
Room: A 340
For more information see http://www.1914-1918-online.net
Prof. Dr. Ute Daniel (TU Braunschweig)
Prof. Dr. Peter Gatrell (University of Manchester)
Prof. Dr. Oliver Janz (FU Berlin)
Dr. Heather Jones (London School of Economics)
Prof. Dr. Alan Kramer (Trinity College Dublin)
Prof. Dr. Bill Nasson (University of Stellenbosch)
Since late 2011, the joint international research project “1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War” has developed an English-language virtual reference work on the First World War. Released in 2014, on the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, the online encyclopedia is the result of an international collaborative project to create a multi-perspective, publicly accessible knowledge base on the First World War. The German Research Funding Organization (DFG) supported the project with a grant of around 1 million Euros.
The project board and project management are located at the Freie Universität Berlin (Germany). Project managers are Prof. Dr. Oliver Janz, historian at the Friedrich Meinecke Institute, and Prof. Dr. Nicolas Apostolopoulos, director of the Center for Digital Systems (CeDiS), both at the Freie Universität Berlin. The third institution involved in administrating this project is the Bavarian State Library in Munich. The Editorial Board, made up of around 90 well-known historians from over 20 countries, is responsible for the assessment and quality management of the contributions.
To this day, the image of the First World War focuses on Central and Western Europe. However, the First World War was not only a pan-European war, but also the first truly global war in world history. It was a worldwide economic war, in which numerous non-European states participated, and for which the European powers mobilized the resources of their colonial empires. These perspectives are an important factor in the encyclopedia. Thus, “1914-1918-online” not only reflects the increasingly international research on the First World War, but also significantly advances it by identifying gaps and desiderata.
“1914-1918-online” represents a major undertaking in digital history publication under the Open Access paradigm by promoting free and unlimited dissemination of the content to individual users, search engines, and reference services. This availability is complemented by novel navigation schemes that allow users non-linear access throughout the text convolute via thematic contexts, regional contexts and conceptual encyclopedia entries. The platform is designed to enable users to follow threads according to their specific area of interest, integrating a broad range of texts from various contexts in a way that is appropriate to the hypertextuality of the medium. Visualizations of thematic connections encourage the navigation of the encyclopedia in ways that expand on the standards of current digital history publications.
Since March 2016, “1914-1918-online” is being expanded and enhanced with alternative procedures. This is part of the DFG-project “Open Encyclopedia System”, which is carried out together with the Center for Digital Systems, the Center for Modern Greece and the Bavarian State Library. The emphasis of the functional expansion is to develop the encyclopedia from a uni-directional publishing environment to an interactive work and publishing environment. The core areas of this expansion include the updating of electronic publications and the explorative development of functionalities for user participation. The editorial and publication platform of “1914-1918-online” will be migrated to the “Open Encyclopedia System”.