April 18, 2014 — World War I, the world’s first global conflict from 1914-1918, involved more than 156,000 Missourians on the battlefield, factories and farms.
The Library District, with a host of partners statewide, is working on a project that will tell Missouri’s stories in articles and photographs in a free, online site called “Over There: Missouri and the Great War.”
Project staff began working on the project last year, and on April 22 learned it was awarded a major grant from the Missouri State Library that will help see the project to completion. “Over There” was awarded a $73,974 Digital Imaging Grant and a $34,704 Technology Ladder Grant. Together, the grants will allow project staff across the state to continue researching and digitizing World War I documents and photos for the new website.
When completed, the project will feature a single, digital collection of documents, photographs, artifacts and memorabilia illustrating the effect that World War I had on Missouri and the impact of Missourians’ contribution to the war effort. Digitization is the process of converting data, records, images and other media into an electronic format so that anyone can see it or research it for free online.
The project has begun in preparation for the centennial remembrance beginning in 2014, and will be completed in multiple phases. A small sample of what will be available when the full site is launched in 2015 can be explored at www.missourioverthere.org.
As the project develops, a blog on that site will feature regular posts on Missouri’s World War I history, fascinating collections and programs planned throughout the state.
It will also offer families the opportunity to share topics and private collections. Currently, project partners are developing the project outline, seeking additional partnerships, and reviewing historical collections. This project will be a combination of material from organizations across the state and from private individuals.
Project partners besides the Springfield-Greene County Library District include the Missouri History Museum, St. Louis; the Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City; Museum of Osteopathic Medicine, Kirksville; National World War I Museum, Kansas City; and the State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia.
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