April 15-18, 2009
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Demonstrations: Description

Canadian War Museum Online Resource: Canada and the First World War

Kathryn Lyons, Canadian War Museum, Canada
Genevieve de Mahy, Canadian War Museum, Canada

Canada and the First World War is designed to provide multi-faceted, contextualized information, supported by evocative and rare artifacts, to better understand a critical event in Canadian history.

Presented both chronologically and thematically, focusing not only on the period of the war, but also on its legacy, each of the thematic events is supported by a short essay. Also, in addition to the site’s main content and material culture components, there is a dedicated resource for teachers and students with developed lesson plans, reading lists and suggested research links.

The CWM initially chose the extensive collection of official photographs of the Canadian Expeditionary Force as a starting point for the conceptualization of the thematic content and digitization of visual material. The storyline was then expanded to include an additional 464 non-official photographs and other artifacts chosen specifically for their relevance in further presenting the experience of this important historical era.

In total, over 6,850 photographs, mainly from the Canadian Expeditionary Force official photograph collection, have been scanned and linked to the web module with 261 of them specially contextualized as components within the thematic module itself. Alongside the photographs, 464 artifacts other museum artifacts have also been photographed and uploaded to the web module and are supported by contextual historical accounts. In all, 725 individually-captioned images now populate the web module in support of the site’s 122 thematic sections.

In addition to the thematic entry points, links to both of the CWM’s collections databases have ensured searchable entry points to the CWM and the Canadian Museum of Civilization’s entire collection, allowing for continuous access to both museums’ extensive holdings.

Canada and the First World War was developed to become the country’s most valued and most utilized First World War site. The CWM will continue to promote and utilize this dynamic tool in its efforts to meet the needs of youth and students, as well as to promote material culture to all Canadians.

Demonstration: Demonstrations 2 [Close Up]

Keywords: Canada, first, world, war, Canadian, war, museum, image database, image collection, photographs