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Open Access Online Encyclopedia of World War I

Public Launch on October 8, 2014 / Panel Discussion with International Experts in Brussels

№ 320/2014 from Sep 22, 2014

A comprehensive, English-language, open access encyclopedia of the “Great War” will be presented and released on October 8, 2014, in Brussels. The project “1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War” is coordinated at Freie Universität Berlin and funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG). It contains the latest historical research from 54 countries. The presentation of the online encyclopedia will take place during an international panel discussion on the First World War in the context of European historical consciousness and current developments in Ukraine. The conference language is English. Simultaneous translation to French, German, and Dutch will be available. Admission is free; journalists are cordially invited.

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 was written and compiled by some 1,000 experts from 54 countries. It provides a comprehensive description of the “Great War” from a pan-European and global perspective. The encompassing content is presented with the technical means of the Semantic Web. This has led to user-friendly and easily applicable digital work equipment.

This 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.


  • Welcoming speech by the President of the Committee of the Regions, Michel Lebrun
  • Speech by the State of Berlin Commissioner for European Affairs, Permanent Secretary Hella Dunger-Löper
  • Speech by the President of Freie Universität Berlin, Peter-André Alt
  • Presentation of 1914-1918-online by Editor in Chief, Oliver Janz
  • Panel “The First World War and European historical consciousness” with Heather Jones (historian and general editor of 1914-1918-online), Adam Krzeminski (journalist), Paul Dujardin (director of the Palais des BOZAR in Brussels), and Santanu Das (literary studies researcher, historian, and section editor of 1914-1918-online); Moderator: Melinda Crane (journalist)
  • Closing speech by the Minister for Federal Affairs, Europe and the Media of North Rhine-Westphalia, Angelica Schwall-Düren
  • Reception with “workstations” for testing the online encyclopedia


Please register by September 30, 2014, at


Time and Venue

  • Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 2–5 p.m. (registration desk opens at 1:30 p.m.)
  • Committee of the Regions, Rue Belliard 99, Room JDE62, reception from about 4 p.m. in Atrium 6

Further Information

Susanne Büchner, Freie Universität Berlin, Project Coordinator, 1914-1918-online, Tel.: +49 30 838-60751, Email: berlin@1914-1918-online.net, www.1914-1918-online.net