5 steps: Connecting images from The Illustrated First World War

ILN Image 1The Illustrated London News’ new website ‘The Illustrated First World War’ launched on the 1 August 2014. In this guest blog post, ILN’s Patrick Wingrove talks you through how to search for incredible images on the site and connect them to Lives of the First World War Life Story pages in five easy steps.

Illustrated First World War.com launched on the 1 August 2014. You can now search the entire 1914-1919 archive of The Illustrated London News, including some of the most illuminating articles and emotive images that emerged from the First World War. We’ll soon be uploading material from the other seven publications in our archive including The Sphere, The Sketch, The Tatler, The Graphic, The Bystander, The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News and The Illustrated Nar News.

Here is a step by step guide of how to search through the archive for images, and connect those to Life Story pages on Lives of the First World War:

1. Go to illustratedfirstworldwar.com and type in what you want to find

ILN Image 2The search bar is the main way to explore the archive of The Illustrated London News. Begin your search by typing in the subject, event or person that you are looking for (eg. 1st Royal Fusiliers or 23rd London Regiment).

In order to refine your search make sure you type in extra keywords. For example if you wanted to search for a regiment during the Battle of the Somme simply type in ’23rd London Regiment Somme’.

Once you’ve done this press ‘enter’ or click on the golden magnifying glass button.

2. Select the date

ILN Image 3Once you’ve hit search a list of results will appear. At this point you have the option to select dates to narrow down your search. This is a particularly useful feature if you’re searching for an event.

If you wanted to narrow the results, for example if you know a regiment you’re interested in fought in a particular battle, then you can choose a ‘From’ and ‘To’ date. For this example you should choose the date the event began until a few months after it ended. To search for material for Verdun you should search between 21 February 1916 (the start date) and 18 February 1917 (2 months after the end date).

Of course it entirely depends on what you’re looking for; if you wanted to search for material relating to the beginning of a battle then you can reduce the time period. You should bear in mind that because of censorship, news of battles would often only reach the press a few weeks after they began. Therefore if you want to search for early articles relating to a battle, search between the start date and at least a month into the future.

When selecting a date, make sure you select the year, the month and then the day in that order.

3. Select an article

ILN Image 4Once you have narrowed your search then simply select any article that interests you.

You can either view it in its original format:
ILN Image 5In this format you can zoom in and out and move around the article. You can expand the article so to full page view or even minimise the zoom bar if it’s obstructing any text.

Alternatively, you can view the Web Version of any article:
ILN Image 6This view allows you to read the article clearly. However, the ‘web version’ uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR), to interpret the original printed copy and convert it to computer-readable text and the technology can result in text errors.

4. Find a relevant Life Story page on Lives of the First World War

ILN Image 7Once you’ve found an image on The Illustrated First World War site you can then connect that to a Life Story page on Lives of the First World War. The first step with this is to find a life story to connect it to.

Go to livesofthefirstworldwar.org and enter the individual’s name into the search bar, pressing either enter or the magnifying glass button once you’ve done that. You can refine your search using the criteria on the left hand side.

Struggling to find the Life story page you’re looking for? Read our guide to finding a named individual.

5. Connect the image to a life story

Once you have found a relevant Life Story page you can connect the image from The Illustrated First World War site to that. There are two ways to do this:

1. Upload the image

ILN Image 8Right click on the image on The Illustrated First World War and save that to your computer. Then select ‘upload an image’ on the Life Story page on Lives of the First World War, and select the image file on your computer. In the box for the image description, make sure to mention that the image came from The Illustrated First World War site, and provide a direct link if possible.

2. Connect the image as an external reference

ILN Image 9Alternatively, you can connect the image as an external reference. Copy the URL for the image on the Illustrated First World War site, then go to the relevant Life Story page on Lives of the First World War and click ‘Add an external reference’. Select ‘website’ at the ‘type of evidence’, then paste the URL for the image into the ‘URL’ field (see example above). Again, make sure to mention that the image was taken from The Illustrated First World War site in the image description.

Could you help us to uncover First World War life stories by connecting images from The Illustrated First World War site, or from your personal collection? Find someone to remember and help us preserve their stories for future generations.

  • Find someone to remember on Lives of the First World War
  • Patrick Wingrove is Historical Researcher at Illustrated London News
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