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New Online Encyclopedia Devoted to World War I Is Now Accessible

Contributors Include Some 1,000 Experts from 54 Countries

№ 343/2014 from Oct 08, 2014

A comprehensive, English-language, open access encyclopedia of the “Great War” was introduced and released on Wednesday, October 8, 2014, in Brussels. The project “1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War” is managed by researchers at Freie Universität Berlin in cooperation with the Bavarian State Library. It is funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG). It combines the latest historical research with the advantages of the Semantic Web. The encyclopedia was written and compiled by some 1,000 experts from 54 countries, and it is continuously being updated and expanded.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of World War I, which is considered to be the “great seminal catastrophe of the twentieth century.” This anniversary is an important point of reference for the creation of a transnational and global historical consciousness, offering a chance to discuss the roots of and possibilities for European integration.

The online encyclopedia “1914–1918-online” provides a comprehensive description of the “Great War” from a pan-European and global perspective. It is a user-friendly and easily applicable digital work resource. The project is headed by Prof. Dr. Oliver Janz, a historian at the Friedrich Meinecke Institute of Freie Universität Berlin, and Prof. Dr. Nicolas Apostolopoulos, the director of the Center for Digital Systems, Freie Universität Berlin.

The online encyclopedia was presented during a meeting called “World War One goes World Wide Web – 1914–1918-online.” The meeting was jointly organized by the Berlin Senate Chancellery, the European minister in North Rhine-Westphalia, Freie Universität Berlin, and the Committee of the Regions, which also functioned as host. The meeting received financial support from the German Foreign Office and Allianz SE, a German insurance and financial services company.

Further Information

Susanne Büchner, Freie Universität Berlin, Press and Public Relations Officer for the Project, 1914-1918-online, Tel.: +49 30 838-60751, Email:, Website:

Alexandra Taplick, Center for Digital Systems, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-75457, Email:

Links to the Online Encyclopedia and Project Website

Online Encyklopedia:

Project Website: