First World War online resources

To mark the centenary of Britain’s declaration of war with Germany at the start of the First World War we have put together a list of eresources that are available to members of the University of Cambridge, either via subscription or which are freely available online.


‘The soldier & his horse (Chipilly) #3’ by jinterwas on Flickr

Cambridge University Library recently digitised the war diaries and journals of the poet Siegfried Sassoon and made them freely available online, here.

The digitised collection …

“…makes available online for the first time 23 of Sassoon’s journals from the years 1915-1927 and 1931-1932, and two poetry notebooks from 1916-1918 containing rough drafts and fair copies of his war poems. Unlike edited printed transcriptions, the digitisations allow the viewer to form a thorough sense of the nature of the physical documents.”

Members of the University of Cambridge can access the Adam Matthew resource The First World WarThis resource offers primary source documents on the personal experiences  the men and women affected by the war as well as official documents on recruitment, development and dissemination of propaganda and the Home Front.

AM map

The First World War site also offers interactive maps which show how the conflict expanded, a visual archive of bespoke galleries and digitisations of material from the renowned War Reserve Collection from Cambridge University Library.

British Pathe have collated a collection of films from their comprehensive First World War archive. The short films include trench warfare, zeppelins, battleships, U-boats and protests against conscription. Use this link to view the collection.

Maney Online offers free access to a World War One Centenary Collection of 100 articles. The articles, from over 25 humanities journals, are available to access until the end of August.

The British Library is offering a database of over 500 historical sources titled World War One. Material from the Europeana 1914-1918 concerning the origins, outbreak and conclusions of the war, life as a soldier and race, empire and colonial troops are covered, amongst other topics.


These are just some of the eresources available on the First World War. To explore our collection further search for articles via a keyword search on LibrarySearch+ (please check the ‘items with full text online’ box from the list on the left hand side of the results screen).

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