War Diaries Talk

Using this site as a teaching tool

  • tmockait by tmockait

    Hello Everyone,

    I am a professor of history at university in the states, so I cannot put my students on a plane and them to an archive in the UK to do research. This site, however, gives them a chance to do just that online. I was thinking of assigning each of my students a two week period of time on war diary. They would insert the tag and discuss what they had learned about life at the front as well as what they learned about archival research.

    Any other ideas about how to use the site as a teaching tool?



  • simonedi by simonedi moderator

    Only just saw this post, sorry!!
    Certainly what you are suggesting is a great way for students to learn a lot about the western front, you could also tie in some work tracking down individuals, through commonwealth war graves you should be able to track down where they are buried, or if they were lost and are named on a memorial.
    Due to the setup of this side of things i think the main use as a teaching tool is simply working through pages and noting down what they see. Though by watching recent students with more specific interests like the horses, medals or social activities can find a LOT of interesting info.
    The imperial war museum and uk national archives will have the full diarys available to view so students could always spend more time on a given diary and follow the regiment more closely.
    But the site is also a great source of primary info for students of any level, seeing accounts of the trenches in handwriting and in some cases mud, possibly even blood spattered really adds some context that a textbook can never really acheive.
    ill be off to work in a mo but ill scare up some links for the archive and so on when im done (or google em, they are pretty easy to find!)