Doncaster 1914-18 is a four year project, encouraging the people of Doncaster to uncover and share their First World War stories, through a series of participatory projects, events, exhibitions, and a new website. The project is supported by Heritage Lottery Fund and run by Heritage Doncaster.
Doncaster 1914-18 aims to transform how Doncaster residents engage with their heritage. It is helping dispersed communities and individuals to work together, sharing and caring for their First World War heritage – encouraging a sense of pride and ownership.
The Doncaster 14-18 team work right across the metropolitan borough of Doncaster with communities and audiences who may not have previously engaged with heritage.
The project helps individuals and community groups to develop new skills, including digital and research skills and provides new opportunities for volunteers to research, digitise and share Doncaster’s First World War stories.
Partnership working is key to the delivery of Doncaster 1914-18, and activities are delivered in partnership with Doncaster University Centre, Hall Cross School, local history societies and BME and faith groups as well as Doncaster Council’s Communities and Health & Wellbeing teams.
Key to the project is a new community heritage website which makes the First World War collections of Heritage Doncaster and the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Museum more accessible as we digitise this material and make it available online.
An important element of this online resource is the ability to crowd-source (obtain information or other help from a wide variety of people) from the general public and heritage groups, allowing them to upload their own local or family history.
The online resource also supports digital exhibitions, podcasts, an online game, GPS enabled app and the use of Augmented Reality technology to create computer-generated characters.
To complement the website we run local and family history workshops to provide people with the skills to undertake their own research. We also train them in the use of the site and give them background knowledge from experts so they can locate their local and family history in context, and share their learning online by uploading their stories.
The Great War on Tour, the project’s pop-up museum, travels around Doncaster supporting people to share their stories via the website and find out more about what was happening in their local area during the First World War.
The Doncaster 1914-18 project has also created new opportunities for digital volunteering. Volunteers are involved in digitising collections, updating catalogue information, creating content for the project app and online game, and training others to use the website.