National WWI Museum and Memorial Launches GIF Collection to
Bring History to Life
The National WWI Museum and Memorial announced the launch of a new education tool featuring nearly 500 GIFs on giphy.com that highlight the enduring impact of the First World War. These GIFs provide a small glimpse into daily life during the war and show how much — and how little — has changed in the past century. This is the largest cache of Great War GIFs to have been created.
From the funny to the tragic, these short videos were created using archival film footage of the war, primarily from the U.S. Signal Corps. The collection has a unique international focus featuring individuals from around the world, including France, Germany and Russia, and also highlights the service of African American and female soldiers, ensuring their stories are told. The GIFs capture behind-the-scenes moments of soldiers entertaining themselves with music, dancing and baseball, a peak at what life was like for nurses, pilots and cooks, and even smiling children and animals of the war.
“This GIF collection is a fantastic way to add an unexpected layer to education and engage new audiences,” said Lora Vogt, curator of education. “We’re thrilled to have been able to find and use video for this project that features not just the U.S. experience, but the experiences of individuals from around the globe.”
This project involved nearly 350 hours of work over six months to sift through archive video files and select the moments that would be captured in GIF format. Traditionally a smaller file size, the GIFs in the Museum and Memorial’s collection are high resolution to provide a better-quality video experience. Each GIF in the collection has been tagged with descriptors and the collection is entirely searchable on GIPHY.
The National World WWI Museum and Memorial is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. The Museum and Memorial holds the most comprehensive collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and experiences of the war. The Museum and Memorial takes visitors of all ages on an epic journey through a transformative period and shares deeply personal stories of courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice. Designated by Congress as America’s official World War I Museum and Memorial and located in downtown Kansas City, Mo., the National WWI Museum and Memorial inspires thought, dialogue and learning to make the experiences of the Great War era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations. To learn more, visit theworldwar.org.