November 26, 2020

University of Kansas Researchers Developing Digital Archive of WWI Poetry by American Immigrants

From the KU News Service:

A research project at the University of Kansas will create a digital archive of World War I poetry that captures the wide-ranging sentiments of American immigrants, including those who found themselves living in a country headed to war with their homeland.

For the past six months, KU students have been identifying, encoding, transcribing and annotating poetry about World War I written by American immigrants, particularly those from Germany. So far the project includes more than 300 poems.

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Tied to the 100th anniversary of World War I, the digital archive project is a collaboration between KU and Kansas State University. The KU team is supported by a seed grant through the KU Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities. The archive will include American poetry and poetry written by other immigrant groups as well, such as Mexican-Americans.

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“World War I has long been in the shadows of World War II. This is part of an effort to demonstrate why World War I is relevant for us today,” said project leader Lorie Vanchena, associate professor of German and academic director of the European Studies Program.

The digital archive of American World War I poetry will fill a gap in World War I scholarship, Vanchena said. Eventually the poems will be available online, so academics, teachers, students and the general public can access them. The digitized poems will include contextual information for historical, cultural and political references.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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