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Lest We Forget campaign aims to save and digitise memories of the Great War


A national crowdfunding campaign spearheaded by the University of Oxford is entering its final days, with the aim of raising £40,000 to enable local communities to collect and preserve memories of World War I, including photographs, diaries, letters and mementos, and the memories and oral histories passed down through families.

As the Great War (1914-1918) slips from living memory, Oxford University is working to ensure that the legacy of the First World War is preserved for future generations with a massive online database to be launched on the centenary of Armistice Day in November 2018.

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The large-scale digitisation project will help communities to organise and run digitisation days, and the stories and memories will then be made available to the public on a large, free of charge online database.

In order to support this ambitious project, and the training of local ‘digital champions’ able to capture and preserve these precious stories, Lest We Forget aims to raise at least £80,000 through a campaign hosted on OxReach, the University’s crowdfunding platform. 
The overall reach of the Lest We Forget campaign is entirely dependent on how much funding can be crowdsourced:
  • £40,000 will ensure LWF can launch a website, create 100 training packs, and run two training events at Oxford to train digital champions to run a collection day in their community
  • £60,000 will pay for an additional two further training events for digital champions, five outreach activities with schools in the UK, and the creation and loan of ten portable digitisation studios
  • £80,000 will provide enough capital to train around 70 digital champions and allow for 15 outreach activities: five more in schools and five inter-generational workshops in care homes for the elderly
  • £130,000 will cover the set up and running of an additional six regional collections days in collaboration with local communities across the UK
  • £200,000 will allow up to 20 regional collection days to be run, and for a range of educational materials to be developed and fed back into school curricula based on teachers’ submissions
Dr Stuart Lee, Deputy Chief Information Officer for IT Services at Oxford University and Project Lead for Lest We Forget, said: “Safeguarding the memory of World War One is of critical importance to both honouring the sacrifice made by those who upended their lives or laid them down during the conflict and to the preservation of our national identity. Through our digitisation projects here at Oxford, we will keep the memory of the Great War alive so that we may never forget.”
How to donate to Lest We Forget
To donate to the project, visit the website, which explains how donations can be made, how the money will be used, and the benefits offered to those making a donation. 

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