A team from The Royal Armouries in Leeds are scanning a number of museum documents as part of a two year project to digitise precious written records of the First World War. Over the coming months, Archivists Philip Abbot and Caroline Walter will visit Richmond to work their way through a number of diaries and written accounts of the war, focusing on descriptions of trench warfare and the Gallipolli campaign, The Somme, Passchendale, The Armistice, and descriptions of the Russian campaign in 1919.
“Digitising the collection will help preserve these often fragile items” explains Philip. “Researchers and visitors will be able to study the content on screen, or take away high quality copies of documents, so reducing handling, and potential damage, to the originals.”
The team are working with a number of other museums, including York Army Museum, Clifton Park Museum in Rotherham and the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Museum in Doncaster, to build a reference base, in effect loaned digitally to The Royal Armouries by the organisations taking part.
The scanned documents will eventually be available for everyone to view online.