This article focuses on my digital project, “The World War I Diary of Albert Huet.” First I provide an introduction about the project, including a short biography of Albert Huet, my great-grandfather, and explain how the project came to be, notably focusing on the help from the George A. Smathers Libraries digital services in digitizing the documents and making available online in UFDC. Then, I discuss what Albert’s diary can teach us about the French soldiers’ experience during WWI. Albert just like so many other men, grew up in the countryside, with a very limited education, and found himself at 18 on the battlefields with no training at all. This experience really had a profound negative impact on his life. Finally, I discuss the impact this digital project has had since it launched in 2016. In addition to being featured in classrooms assignments and on a major WWI research website, the project was used by Dr. Lynn Palermo from Susquehanna University who funded two undergraduate students to work on translating the diary. This example highlights how digital projects can be enriched by collaboration across institutions.
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