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A digital exhibition about the Great War in Luxembourg

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Published on Thursday, 19 April 2018

The digital exhibition Éischte Weltkrich: Remembering the Great War in Luxembourg is developed by the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History at the University of Luxembourg (C2 DH), with the aim of addressing an important but neglected and understudied period in the country’s history.

The digital exhibition is the culmination of a research project that began in February 2016 with the support of the Ministry of State. Drawing on the collections and expertise of some of Luxembourg’s major museums, archives and cultural institutions, the project has progressively deepened and widened its scope with the aim of becoming a long-term digital resource.

The website is designed to engage a broad base of users with varying interests and degrees of expertise. It is available in three languages (French, German and English) and offers four independent but interconnected modes of navigation: a story-driven mode, a digital archive, an interactive geo-referenced map and a timeline. Additional sections contain educational pages for schools and downloadable academic articles.

Four connected entry points

The themes explored are, among others, the Luxembourg’s occupation by the German army, the food crisis and its repercussions, the social and political tensions, and the way in which the Great War has left its mark on the country’s historiography and collective memory. The website offers four independent but interconnected modes of navigation:

  • Four major themes – Occupation, Hunger, Grief and Loss, Aftermath – presented as multi-media and highly visual digital stories that can be freely explored to learn about the impact that the First World War had on Luxembourg.
  • The collection is a digital archive of images, films, newspaper articles, books, letters and diaries and official documents. A search engine allows to filter the results according to source type, period or key words. Each image or artefact is accompanied by a brief description and metadata.
  • On an interactive map of Luxembourg, users can locate sites connected with events related to the Great War (e.g. bombed sites) and its remembrance (military cemeteries, monuments, etc.).
  • A timeline presents a chronology of the events from 1914 to the early 1920s with links to related objects from the collection.

The site has two additional sections, which cater for more specific audiences. “Education”, the first section developed in collaboration with the ALEH, Association luxembourgeoise des enseignants d’histoire (Luxembourg Association of Teachers of History) offers a whole range of learning activities for secondary schools. Each of the suggested activities uses one object from the website’s collection as a starting point to explore the broader historical context. The aim is to encourage the study of local history and engage pupils in research activities involving digital tools and resources.

“Resources”, the second of these extra sections, offers a compilation of selected scientific articles on various subjects relating to the exhibition’s general theme.



A collaborative and diversified programme

The C²DH’s digital exhibition “Éischte Weltkrich” has been produced in collaboration with the Archives nationales de Luxembourg (National Archives of Luxembourg), the Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg (National Library of Luxembourg), the Centre de Documentation sur les Migrations Humaines (Documentation Centre for Human Migrations), the Centre national de l’audiovisuel (National Audiovisual Centre), the Musée national d’histoire et d’art (National Museum of History and Art) and also the Musée national d’histoire militaire (National Museum of Military History). A partnership has also been established with Europeana 14-18 a vast digital repository of sources from the First World War, which includes several hundred documents, images and artefacts related to Luxembourg.

The research project includes a rich programme of related activities, conferences, workshops, and publications. As part of this programme, the C2 DH co-curated the exhibition “Être ailleurs en temps de guerre (14-18) – Étrangers à Dudelange / Dudelangeois à l’étranger” which is currently open to the public at the Centre de Documentation sur les Migrations Humaines (Documentation Centre for Human Migrations, CDMH) in Dudelange and which is accompanied by a series of events and conferences throughout 2018.

Both the digital exhibition Éischte Weltkrich and the exhibition in Dudelange have the “2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage” official accreditation.

Prof. Andreas Fickers and Ass. Prof. Denis Scuto, as well as the coordinator Dr Sandra Camarda, are in charge of the “Éischte Weltkrich” research project at the C2 DH. The project is funded through an agreement between the Ministry of State and the University of Luxembourg.

The exhibition is available on www.ww1.lu.