Siegfried Sassoon WWI archive launched online for Armistice Day

By Culture24 Staff | 09 November 2009
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a picture of a man in army uniform

Siegfried Sassoon. © The Harry Ransom Center / The Siegfried Sassoon Literary Estate

Oxford University is marking this year's Armistice Day by launching the first online collection of the manuscripts of Siegfried Sassoon, focusing on his war poetry.

Reassembled from collections across the world, the comprehensive work is freely accessible online as part of the University's First World War Poetry Digital Archive.

The Poetry Archive has been funded by JISC, the UK organisation for technology in universities and colleges and allows online users access to over 12,000 previously unseen materials such as poetry manuscripts, letters and original diary entries from some of the conflict's most important poets including Wilfred Owen, Isaac Rosenberg, and Vera Brittain.

Highlights of the new Sassoon collection include manuscript variants of his key war poetry anthologies The Old Huntsman (1917), Counter-Attack (1918), and Picture Show (1919).

"As one of the most complete and important online collections of World War One poetry, the Sassoon manuscripts help further highlight the significance of this collection to audiences around the world," said Ben Showers, JISC digitisation programme officer.

The Sassoon material, which comes a month after the addition of an Edmund Blunden archive to the online collection, marks the first anniversary of the Poetry Archive, which began on Armistice Day 2008 in conjunction with the Great War Archive, which the University set up to digitally capture and catalogue public material originating from the First World War.

See alsothe Great War Archive Flickr group

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