Free images and digital assets about the First World War

Poster, 1914-18 (FATMP007522.33)
Poster, 1914-18 (FATMP007522.33)

Go here to access the material, or read more below.

This year, we will be marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War with several exhibitions and events. We will also be exploring the subject online, and have recently set up a blog dedicated to the First World War.

But we want to help others tell their stories too. To do this, we have made all of our digital images and other assets about the First World War available to download free of charge. They can be found on the First World War Resources section of our Image Store. There is no need to register or log in to download the material. The only requirement is that any re-use meets the conditions of a BY-NC-SA 4.0 Creative Commons licence. This means that the the material can be used for any purpose providing:

  • It is non-commercial
  • Any reproduction of the images is credited to the ‘Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton & Hove’
  • Anything made with this material is shared on the same basis

If you have a use in mind for this material, but are unsure whether this will comply with these conditions, please contact us to discuss.

We hope that anyone who wishes to explore the history of the First World War in Brighton & Hove — whether a school pupil, teacher, local historian, or someone who simply wants to print an image to place on their wall — finds these useful.

Photo of Royal Pavilion Indian Hospital entrance, 1915 (HA903302)
Royal Pavilion Indian Hospital entrance, 1915 (HA903302)

What material is available?

At present, over 270 images and other assets are available, and more will be added during the course of the year.

There are four broad types of material:

  • Brighton Graphic, 18 November 1915
    Brighton Graphic, 18 November 1915

    Photographs, including over 100 images of the Royal Pavilion’s use as an Indian military hospital

  • Posters, including recruitment posters issued by the British government
  • Periodicals, such as the Brighton and Hove South Sussex Graphic, an illustrated local newspaper
  • Scrapbooks, which document local stories of the war, such as the Belgian Relief Fund

The periodicals and scrapbooks have been digitised in PDF format, and processed for optical character recognition. Although not complete, this does make some of the content searchable.

Moving forward

Although it’s designed as a site for commercial sales, we are using our Image Store as it handles the large files very well: the material can be compressed to reduce the download size, and they can be emailed to others who may find it of interest.

But the Image Store does not hold much sophisticated data about our collections, and it is only a small sample of our digitised collections. This will be addressed by our new online collections website which will go live very soon. This will provide access to thousands of digitised objects from across our various collections, and images at up to 1000 pixels on the longest side will be available for re-use under the same conditions of the Creative Commons licence described above.

Our new online collections will also use an API which will be available to developers who may wish to produce apps or websites re-using the data. The website will also enable users to add their own tags and comments to objects, and help us learn more about our collections.

Can you help us?

It is important for us to understand how these digitised collections can be used. We are keen to make our collections more open and re-useable, and any information or evidence about how our collections can make a difference will support that process.

We are also curious about the stories that other people can tell with these resources. The First World War transformed Britain, and almost everyone has a point of view or a piece of family history that we can learn from.

Kevin Bacon, Digital Development Officer




2 Responses

  1. George wilson

    Dear sir
    Do you have an image of sub Lt. Cyril Napier leeston-smith RNAS in your collection possibly in the Brighton and Hove south Sussex graphic 1914 -15
    Hope you can help
    Yours sincerely George Wilson

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