Europeana Collection Day

You probably know Europeana 1914-1918 project, which aims to collect material that relates to the Great War and those involved in or affected by it. A collection day took place yesterday in Milan, at the headquarters of the Corriere della Sera (here’s an article about this event). This event was organized by the Corriere della Sera, Canon, my friends of the association WW1-Dentro la Grande Guerra and the Centro studi storico-militari Piero Pieri.

As I wanted to share some objects of mine and understand the level of interest of Italian people in such initiatives, I couldn’t miss it and after having sent some mails for the registration, agreed a meeting at 1.30 PM. As more than 200 people brought material, it took much more time than planned, but it was worth it!

The first step was a precheck of the objects with an expert, followed by another check with a member of the team. I had brought some paper documents and photographs. Finally, we agreed to put on the site the Guglielminetti canteen found in the attic of the grandfather of my wife and the grave plate shown of an French African soldier published on this blog some time ago.


The next step: an interview with another member of the team, in order to collect the story behind the objects brought.


But of course, this event was an occasion for people to meet and show to other ones memories of their own families too!


Here’s a pic of the photographic set (managed by Canon) for the objects. Seven scanners were used for paper documents.


A nice idea: the “virtual donators” were portrayed with one of the objects they brought…


And here’s my portrait with my canteen!


A conclusion? The success of this initiative was rather unexpected (more than 200 people participated to this event, and some of them brought dozens of pictures, letters, etc.); that’s the reason why I had to stay about three hours… But the team was very nice with the people who had to wait, giving them newspaper to read, water, coffee. And it was a nice occasion to talk with strangers.

I have to say that most of the people here were elderly people. Very often, the material came directly from their fathers and uncles, which means that these people are more than 70/80 years old. The quality of the material brought (and soon shared online) was very high; thanks to Europeana it won’t be lost!


One thought on “Europeana Collection Day

  1. Congratulations FX !
    Choosing something from your many artifacts must have been difficult, but the canteen and plaque are very appropriate mementos. I did not know of this project and have now bookmarked it for study and may make my own contribution to the collective effort. This Wikimedia style research should demonstrate the power of the internet to collect and preserve history.

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