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7 February 2011
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About This Site > Project History

WW2 People's War - the archive

WW2 People's War closed to new contributions on 31 January 2006. Stories, images, story forum messages and personal pages from the original WW2 People's War site have now been transferred to this archive site.

Finding stories, images, personal pages and story forums on the archive site

All the data from the original site has been migrated to this archive site. You can find your story, personal page, photos or messages on the site by inserting the following into the Search box below: your U number (see the final digits of the URL of your Personal Page) or the A number of your story/ies (the final digits of the URL of a story). Alternatively, use any terms - names or places, for example - which occurred in the story.

Why has the site been archived?

The archive site was created to make sure that this valuable collection of stories was maintained in a format that would ensure their long-term presence on the web.

The stories were gathered on the BBC's DNA platform, which had been created specifically for users to add content to the BBC site. However, for users to be able to access this on the BBC and other sites, and search and download the content in the future, it was necessary to change the format. The archive content has been transformed into .xml, with an .html interface. Read more about how this was done.

What has been archived?

The following content has been included in the archive site:

  • All the stories and images.
  • The forums attached to each story.
  • Users' Personal Pages, which contain links to stories and images they contributed, messages they left on other users' stories, and links to people they identified as 'my friends' while the site was active.
  • The Timeline of fact files.
  • Educational content: lesson plans and worksheets to encourage families and community groups to use extracts from the archive when teaching or raising awareness about World War Two.
  • The classification structure - see the Archive Listing. All 47,000 stories have been categorised. Read more about how the content was classified.
  • A project history has been included, which details the key stages in the life of the project, the outreach activity and how the stories were gathered.

The following content has not been archived:

  • Test entries which contained fewer than five words.
  • Content that broke House Rules.
  • Research Desk forums, where users on the site posted queries or responses relating to World War Two.

Why was the site closed for contributions?

The project was set up as a way for the BBC to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War Two. The site launched in June 2003, and was intended to be operational until the end of 2005. During the life of the project, over 47,000 stories and 15,000 photographs were gathered. The outreach and regional support teams played a huge part in the story gathering campaign and have now moved on to support other BBC learning projects such as literacy and nature campaigns.

What will happen to the Archive?

The WW2 People's War archive site will be hosted for the foreseeable future on the BBC servers. The archive will also be deposited at the British Library's UKWAC (the United Kingdom Web Archiving Consortium) to ensure its long-term presence in the public domain.

Using the content

People involved in education and research are welcome to use the archive content under the usual fair dealing terms. Find out more about how the content can be used.

Projects who wish to use the content for commercial purposes (eg in a book or newspaper) should contact the BBC using the Contact Us link in the left hand navigation bar. If the content is used, a donation should be made to the Royal British Legion.

WW2 People's War message board

If you would like to comment on the site or post queries or responses regarding World War Two research, visit the WW2 People's War message board.

What if I want to add a story to the archive?

If you did not post your story or image before 31 January 2006, your story cannot be included in the WW2 People's War archive. However, your story can still be posted to the BBC where it will remain for people to access and read. The best site to add this content to is h2g2 - a site similar in format to WW2 People's War, but one which publishes content on every theme imaginable. You will need to migrate your membership if you wish to continue adding content and messages to BBC sites.

Alternatively you can contact another archiving project such as the Second World War Experience Centre.

Can I carry on posting messages to the BBC?

Although you will not be able to post any more content to WW2 People's War, we hope that you will continue to post messages to other BBC community sites and message boards. You can carry on using your existing login on any site you wish, but if you want to carry on using your login we recommend you migrate your membership as WW2 People's War site members will have a restricted status when the site is decommissioned.

How to migrate your membership

When WW2 People's War is fully decommissioned, users who registered there will find that their accounts are restricted. If you would like to continue posting to BBC community sites and message boards, you should migrate your membership. There are five other BBC sites you can migrate to, but if you are interested in continuing to write about World War Two, we would recommend that you migrate to h2g2. To migrate to h2g2:

  1. Find your own user number by going to your Personal Page on People's War. Look at the address of the page - it ends in the letter U followed by a series of numbers. Make a note of this user number, eg U12345.
  2. Go to the h2g2 homepage.
  3. Add your user number to the end of the address of that page. Taking the number in our example, the address would look like this: http://bbcattic.org/dna/h2g2/U12345. Press 'enter'. Your Personal Page will now appear in the h2g2 'skin'.
  4. Now add ?homesite=1 to the end of the address. Our example would look like this: http://bbcattic.org/dna/h2g2/U12345?homesite=1. Press enter again.
  5. You now have an account with h2g2. To test whether it worked, click on the 'Edit Page' button on the right hand side of the page, and try to edit your personal information. If you have any problems migrating your account to h2g2, the h2g2 team can answer your questions in this forum.

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