In a letter saved for almost 100 years, Elinor White (Nell) informs one of her sisters that brother Maurice George Delpratt had been reported missing in action. It is as touching and heart wrenching to read today as it must have been when it was first received in 1915.
State Library is digitising WWI collections, letters, post cards, programs and photographs that tell the stories of young soldiers who marched from Queensland, full of pride and enthusiasm as they went to fight in the Great War. These letters and ephemera provide us with knowledge not available anywhere else.
Often it is a little piece of ephemera that reveals so much about the story of the Home Front and shows the tremendous love for those in the War . Ephemera collected at the John Oxley Library provides us with access to the thought and consideration given to every letter, every going-away dinner and every package mailed to the front. All were treasured keepsakes. A small field service card from the front is yet another example of a family treasure that has been saved for a century and is now digitised for all.
These small items are symbolic of the thousands of pieces of ephemera held at John Oxley that help to create the fabric of our collective memory. Digitisation allows access to the intimate details of day-to-day lives during the War, enables us to connect the pieces of the story and better understand Queensland’s rich heritage. Much of the digitised ephemera is searchable through multi-page pdfs. All digitised content is downloadable and free to use.
C. Cottle – Digital Collections Curator, State Library of Queensland