ProQuest is launching a landmark database offering unparalleled access to rare and unique sources on the common experiences of First World War servicemen and women. Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War contains over 1,500 magazines written and illustrated, mostly unofficially, by every type of military unit which were intended for distribution only to the members of that unit. These rare and previously inaccessible publications open up new possibilities for scholars around the globe and are an exciting new addition to ProQuest's unique historical collections.
Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War is the largest aggregated collection of these publications available online, sourced from leading archives including the Imperial War Museums and The British Library. The collection contains periodicals written by and for serving members of the armed forces and associated welfare organisations published between 1914 and the end of 1919. The magazines have been carefully scanned cover-to-cover, in full color or greyscale, with granular indexing of all articles and specialist indexing of publications.
Mary Sauer-Games, Vice President ProQuest Information Solutions said, "In the run up to the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War in 2014, researchers from a range of disciplines have told us that they want to be able to access new historical primary sources; material that contains new voices from the war which can be used to fuel new research discoveries. That's why we have developed this database which will provide unparalleled access to rare and hitherto under-used publications which in their poetry, short stories, memoirs, jokes and cartoons represent an essential counter-point to the official histories and more established literary sources of the war. Unique and content rich collections are key to ProQuest's mission; working with leading institutions around the world to digitize rare, unique and often fragile source material enables us to maintain our position at the forefront of the information and discovery industry."
The journals and magazines were produced by every type of unit engaged in the conflict, and in addition to magazines produced by infantry units, such as The Dead Horse Corner Gazette and The Wipers Times, there are periodicals of hospitals, supply depots, training camps, and prisoner of war camps and from every combatant nation, on every active front including the home front. ProQuest's unique experience and expertise has further enriched the content allowing full-text searching of all articles and detailed unit type indexing of each publication.
There is already an appreciable renewal of interest, both popular and scholarly, in the First World War, and this is set to increase still further with the approach of the centenary in 2014. Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War will enable historians, literary scholars and researchers working on any aspect of early Twentieth Century culture to appreciate the previously unheard voices of hundreds of thousands of common servicemen and women and to make brand new discoveries about the First World War.
Click here to find out more about Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War.
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