Ninety years ago, soldiers in a battalion of the Australian Imperial Force 1914-1918 wrote their unit history, aiming to preserve the memories of their participation in the Great War for generations to come. Sought after as a collectable artifact, the out-of-print book is little read today. The browning rough-textured leaves, dull cover, simple illustrations, and minimal photographs mark The Blue and Brown Diamond – History of the 27th Battalion on Active Service as a book of early last century. The returned soldiers who compiled this record offered a well-written and formal account, based on official sources but with little personal and social detail. More than 8 000 men were part of its narrative and the committee overseeing its production thought of it as a memorial to their role in the war. Their story is part of a larger national narrative of identity and community memory-making.
This paper discusses a project to embellish the text using resources photographs, newspaper accounts, memorabilia, diaries, and letters to create a newly made digital memorial in which the text is embedded, but not altered. This is an exercise in respectful re-making, using digital technology to create a narrative archive for a new audience, anticipating the centenary of the conflict in 2014.
|Keywords:||Anzac, War and Memory, Digital and Print Texts and Archives, Military Unit History|
Professor, Communicaton and Writing, School of Communication, International Studies and Languages, University of South Australia, Magill, SA, Australia
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