This event has ended

Conference "Unlocking Sources - The First World War online and Europeana"

Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz

Thursday, 30 January 2014 at 09:00 - Friday, 31 January 2014 at 17:00 (CET)

Berlin, Germany

Conference "Unlocking Sources - The First World War online...

Registration Information

Type End     Quantity
Launch event, 29/1/2014, 18:30 Ended Free  
Conference 30/1/2014, 09:00-17:30 Ended Free  
Film screening 30/1/2014, 19:00 (tbc) Ended Free  
Conference 31/1/2014, 9:00-16:45 Ended Free  
Guided tour of the Library, 29/1/2014   more info Ended Free  
Guided tour of the Library, 30/1/2014   more info Ended Free  

Share Conference "Unlocking Sources - The First World War online and Europeana"

Event Details

International Conference, Collection Days, Film Screening, Exhibition, Portal launches

Unlocking sources. The First World War online & Europeana

30./31.01.2014, Berlin, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin

2014 will mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, which will be commemorated worldwide. In recent years a wide range of European cultural institutions, including the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, have digitized manuscript and print materials as well as film holdings. Books, photos, films, posters, manuscripts, and song lyrics have recently been made available online.

On 30 and 31 January 2014 the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin will host the event “Unlocking Sources – The First World War online & Europeana” ( to mark the commemoration.

  1. During a two-day international conference „Unlocking Sources – The First World War online & Europeana“ representatives from research and education and the interested public will discuss the mediation of history through the Internet. The discussions will focus on the publication of the digitized holdings of Europeana – and how these resources can be re-used, for example in research or in history lessons at school.
  2. On two public „Collection Days“ individuals are invited to bring their family memorabilia of the First World War and also contribute the stories connected with them. The items can be scanned and added to the Europeana 1914-1918 online archive.
  3. At the same time the exhibition „Unlocking Sources: Europeana 1914-1918 – The Making Of“ will be shown in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin from 30 January to 8 February 2014. In the exhibition the Staatsbibliothek will present outstanding holdings from its own collections related to the First World War. The exhibition illustrates with various interactive elements and a film the many ways in which a library collection can be used and combined with other Internet offerings.
  4. Three new online offerings related to the First World War, which have been created in the framework of a number of EU funded projects, will be launched. These are: a European website for pupils and learners, a virtual exhibition and one of the world’s largest databases of digital resources related to the First World War.

Further information like the full conference programme and information about the Collection Days is available at


More detailed information:

1. Conference

On 30 and 31 January 2014 on the occasion of the two-day international conference „Unlocking sources. The First World War online & Europeana“, which takes place in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, representatives from research and teaching, mediation of history and education will discuss the possibilities and limits of digital access to material about the First World War and review - from different perspectives - the contributions which have been made in the past years. The conference will focus on the use of digital sources: How do digitized holdings fit into research and teaching and the transfer of knowledge in the classroom? What can different online activities contribute to the „Digital Humanities“? Which ideas can be developed regarding the mediation of history in museums and which media can be developed for this purpose? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the existing and the newly created online offerings? There will be a critical discussion and reflection at the panels and innovative projects approaching the theme „First World War“ via digital media, will introduce themselves to a broad public. (Detailed conference programme)

2. Collection Days

On 30 and 31 January 2014 the Staatsbibliothek will hold public Collection Days and individuals have the opportunity to bring their private memorabilia to have them digitized and made accessible online.

On the occasion of the centenary of the outbreak of war in 1914, the crowdsourcing project Europeana 1914-1918 collects private memorabilia everywhere in Europe and provides public access to them through a digital archive. More than 5,000 contributions with ca. 60,000 digital objects are already searchable on Outside public Collection Days interested people may register on the website and add digital images and information to the online archive.

3. Exhibition „Unlocking Sources 1914-1918 – The Making Of“

Using the major War Collection of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin as example, the exhibition „Unlocking Sources 1914-1918 –The Making Of“ will illustrate how a cultural institution digitizes their treasures and gives access to thousands of still undiscovered resources. A film tells the story of the World War writer Walter Flex, whose letters, manuscripts, photographs, and personal documents, among them a bullet perforated map, are preserved in the Staatsbibliothek.

The exhibition spans the time from the beginning of the war, when all war-related publications – including enemy publications – were collected in large numbers, until the present time, when libraries from former enemy countries jointly make available online several hundreds of thousands of resources. This development also shows how library tasks have changed; they continue to collect and preserve the originals, but also create digital access to many objects and thereby publish them a second time. A digital publication on the culture platform Europeana ( offers the special possibility to immediately compare documents on similar topics from different countries– the resources are accessible via a transnational network.

A part of the exhibition has been designed especially for pupils and learners – it offers the unique occasion to see the original items which on the E-Learning-Website exist in virtual form and are linked to a number of teaching materials.

4. Online offerings related to World War I

As a result of the different EU projects related to the First World War, three new online platforms will be launched, it will be the first time that they are presented to the public. They have different target groups. The digitized collections are accessible on the culture portal Europeana (, which provides access to nearly 30 million digitized resources from European archives, museums, and libraries:

- The Virtual Exhibition „Places of transition“ presents ca. 90 selected objects characterizing nine places which are typical of the First World War. These are, e.g., the railway station, the camp, the headquarters, the hospital, the barrack yard, and the factory, places where life takes a decisive turn: From civilian to soldier, from intellectual to commander, from soldier to a war-disabled, from housewife to factory worker. It will also be shown, how the „Places of transition“ were transformed by war and war-related events.

- Specially designed for pupils and learners, the multimedia E-Learning Website „The First World War“, offers several hundred outstanding resources and videos from all over Europe as well as accompanying teaching materials.

- A systematic access to all objects on the culture portal Europeana which are related to the First World War – several hundred thousand objects – can be accessed via the Thematic portal Europeana 1914-1918, searchable by 50 main topics and various media types. This will be one of the world’s largest databases of objects related to the First World War, searchable by single aspects of the war at and behind the front, for example health service, economy, refugees, prisoners of war, youth literature, art, music, caricatures. Researchers can study and compare materials from different countries and in different languages.

The three internet portals will go live at the conference on January 30th/31st.


The organizers: Treasures from European cultural institutions and individuals

The projects „Europeana Collections 1914-1918“, „European Film Gateway 1914 – EFG1914“ and „Europeana 1914-1918“ have gathered hundreds of thousands of resources from (film) archives, museums, libraries, and individuals; they have digitized and made them freely available for the first time ever to a broad public audience via the virtual library Europeana .

The approaching release of the three projects’ results in 2014 is an occasion for the presentation of the new digital offerings related to the First World War. The coordinators and partner institutions of the three projects, the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the Deutsche Filminstitut – DIF e.V., Facts & Files and the Europeana Foundation extend an invitation to attend.

Supported by Image Access and Der Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien aufgrund eines Beschlusses des Deutschen Bundestags.

The projects Europeana Collections 1914-1918 and EFG1914 are partially funded under the ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP) as part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme by the European Community


Further information is available at


Name and email address of all registered participants will appear in the conference participants list. If you do not agree, please contact us ( 

Do you have questions about Conference "Unlocking Sources - The First World War online and Europeana"? Contact Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz

When & Where

Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
33 Potsdamer Straße
10785 Berlin

Thursday, 30 January 2014 at 09:00 - Friday, 31 January 2014 at 17:00 (CET)

  Add to my calendar


Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz


Logo Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin


The Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin is one of the world’s major research libraries, part of Germany’s national library system and the country’s largest academic library. It is part of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (SPK) | Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, a unique union of museums, libraries, archives and research institutes that is one of the largest cultural institutions in Europe.

Although the collections of Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin are universal, comprising materials from all subjects, all periods since the Middle Ages and in a broad range of languages from all continents, the library’s core mission is to provide excellent library services in the humanities and the social sciences as well as for historic research in all subjects on site as well as online.

The Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin is coordinating the  "Europeana Collections 1914-1918" project.

  Contact the Organiser

Please log in or sign up

In order to purchase these tickets in installments, you'll need an Eventbrite account. Log in or sign up for a free account to continue.