A new virtual exhibit of First World War material – Victoria to Vimy – opened at the University of Victoria Libraries this week.
Representing the sacrifices Canadians made at the front lines and on the home front, many unique stories of brave, ordinary Canadians from across the country are told in a digital platform at UVic that has not been publicly implemented at any other Canadian university.
On April 9, Canada marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle for Vimy Ridge in France, a military victory that came at a great price and is regarded as a turning point in the formation of Canadian national identity.
VictoriatoVimy.ca is a free online resource featuring more than 3,700 digitized selections from the university’s archival collections, some recently donated and not previously available online. It includes letters, diaries, postcards, individual photographs, photo albums, scrapbooks, war records, audio-oral histories and artifacts telling stories of Canadian wartime experiences, from Victoria and across the country, and from the front lines.
“In showcasing our implementation of this open-source exhibit software, our digital collection enables increased access to our rare and unique materials, furthering our strategic directions in support of teaching, research and open access to Canada’s documentary history,” says Lara Wilson, director of special collections and university archivist.
Victoria to Vimy invites viewers to explore personal scrapbooks, photographs and postcards or listen to never-before published interviews with over 40 local veterans of the First World War. Students and teachers will have access to guides and curriculum.