Operation War Diary, an initiative from the National Archives, went live yesterday!
The World War I unit diaries are among the most popular records at the National archives, and as part of their centenary project, these have finally been digitised! Thus they are now accessible online.
With over 1.5 million pages expected by the time the project is completed, these will bolster the Archives' already impressive collection of official maps, letters and photographs.
But perhaps most intriguing of all is the simultaneous launch of Operation War Diary. This joint initiative, shared between The National Archives' First World War Portal, Imperial War Museum and Zooniverse, is an innovative crowdsourcing project aimed at enriching the collective understanding of the Great War, in particular the details surrounding the involvement of British infantry and cavalry units deployed in France and Flanders.
The unit war diaries will be open for 'tagging' by a potentially unlimited number of historians, enthusiasts and the general public.
This means that each person who volunteers to help on the project will be assigned a small segment of a unit diary, and will tag details such as people and place names, dates, locations and so forth, expanding the Archive's catalogue of information on the diaries and making the information infinitely more accessible to anyone looking.
It will be an invaluable resource for historians looking for minute, official details, as well as people searching for information about a family member who served, and generally anyone who is interested.
I've already started and it's really easy to get involved! it is definitely a worthwhile way to spend some free time!