Revealing World War One stories

As the final event of LSE Student Volunteering Week 2017, the LSE Volunteer Centre organised another one-off volunteering opportunity. This time, a group of 14 LSE Volunteers participated in Operation War Diary. This project allows volunteers to help unravel the fascinating stories of the British Army on the Western Front during the First World War.

More than 1.5 million pages of unit war diaries needed to be transcribed when The National Archives, the IWM and Zooniverse started the project. Due to the great work of many volunteers, a large part of the transcribing has been done. Yet, there is still a need for volunteers to help reveal the stories of those who fought in the global conflict that shaped the world we live in today.

Helping whilst learning

Students were very excited about previous Operation War Diary one-offs at LSE and we therefore decided to host another session. The students dropped in between 12-2pm with their laptop to browse through the entries, classify the type of pages and then tagged key data. Besides reading about the actual fights, students also found out what the soldiers did when they weren’t fighting.

Thanks to the hard work of our student volunteers, more pages have been transcribed. This will allow others, among which researchers, to access important data on the First World War. The Operation War Diary one-off also showed how you can learn new things whilst volunteering.

Interested in other ways in which you can learn new skills whilst volunteering? Read Yllka Krasniqi blog on 7 ways to volunteer.

Become a citizen historian!

Getting involved in Operation War Diary is still possible – and as our students noticed – very easy. Visit their website, follow the short tutorial, and start classifying and tagging. All you need is a computer, so you can do it from anywhere. So next time you don’t feel like getting out of bed, do something good by transcribing some War Diary pages in your pyjamas. After all, it takes #JustOneHour to do good!