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National Archives WWI site

David Ellery, ‘National Archives crowd-sources data to flesh out the nation’s World War I story’, The Canberra Times, 28 October 2014

An interactive website launched by Governor-General Peter Cosgrove at the National Archives of Australia on Tuesday morning will crowd-source photographs, anecdotes and personal histories to flesh out Australia’s collective narrative of World War I.

“This website takes our understanding of WWI beyond bayonets and bully beef into the heart of each Anzac, to the individual experience of those who served and also of their loved ones who waited to welcome them home,” said General Cosgrove, a former chief of the Australian Defence Force.

The Discovering Anzacs website builds on digitised war records made public in 2008 to create the most interactive web portal ever offered by the NAA.

A joint project with Archives New Zealand, it means the records of every Australian and New Zealander who served in “the war to end all wars” can now be accessed through a single website.

The Discovering Anzacs site also lists details of munitions workers, internees (many of whom were Australians of German descent), sailors in the merchant marine who risked death to keep the Empire’s supply lines open, and even war-related copyright applicants.

NAA staff said the most significant aspect was an unprecedented level of interactivity which allows members of the public to log on to the page of an individual and upload photographs, additional information, anecdotes and family history.

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