Newfoundland and the Great War Web site
By Beth Ryan, Gazette


June 22, 2000. Copyright © 2000, The Gazette. Reprinted with permission.
The Gazette can be reached on the web at www.mun.ca/univrel/gazette

Newfoundland's contribution to the First World War has been brought to life through images, sounds and motion pictures on a new multimedia Web site which was launched June 10 during the Military History Initiative Conference.

Unveiled at HMCS Cabot in St. John's, Newfoundland and the Great War offers an introduction to the experiences of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador during the Great War. It is built around a series of rare glass plate images located in the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador in St. John's, supplemented with images from elsewhere.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Web Site developed the site with sponsorship from the Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives and funding from Industry Canada through its Digital Collections program.

The Digital Collections program gives young people from age 15 to 30 entrepreneurial and technology-based job experience developing multimedia Web sites and digitization projects. Their works, gathered together on the Digital Collections Web site, are popular among Canadian educators, students, researchers and general public. Since it began in 1995, Digital Collections has become one of the largest single sources of Canadian content on the information highway, featuring over 350 Web sites representing the work of over 2,300 young Canadians.

"As archivists, we are pleased and excited to see these historical treasures put on display for the public to explore," said Patti Ryan, president of the Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives (ANLA). "Having them displayed on the Web means that they are now accessible to so many more people."

The site tells the story of Newfoundland's involvement in the war through sections that feature articles, images, audio and video. In the articles section, the visitor will find information on the home front, Newfoundlanders at war, and the commemorations both home and abroad following the war.

In addition to the photos that illustrates the articles on the site, the image gallery includes an extensive collection of photographs of people and organizations dedicated to the war effort. This includes the Women's Patriotic Association, Royal Naval Reserve, Forestry Corps and the Newfoundland Regiment. Many of the photographs are group portraits taken at Holloway Studios before embarking overseas.

The audio section reproduces the 1994 album of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment Band with the title of the same name. In addition, the song "The Valley of Kilbride" by the Newfoundland traditional band Tickle Harbour is offered, along with excerpts from a 1981 interview with William Yetman, one of the first 500 volunteers to sail overseas in 1914.

Finally, there is a series of 19 video clips showing the Newfoundland regiment training both in Newfoundland and in Britain.
The site can be viewed at the Digital Collections site: http://collections.ic.gc.ca/great_war

It can also be found at the Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Web Site: http://www.heritage.nf.ca/greatwar/

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