Researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Waikato are seeking the assistance of everyday “citizen scientists” to help complete a huge new WWI history project called Measuring the ANZACs (measuringtheanzacs.org).
The researchers would like to see citizen scientists of all ages participate so that they can release the records of men who served in France before a September 2016 commemoration of the War in France that is to be held in Wellington.
Measuring the ANZACs will create a complete database of all New Zealanders who served in World War I to support research by family historians, students at all ages, and scholars. Many New Zealanders know of ancestors who served in World War I but not much about what they did. With the upcoming centenary of major Western Front battles in 2016 now is the time many New Zealanders will be discovering the stories of World War I soldiers. Measuring the ANZACs community transcription of the records will open up New Zealand soldiers’ stories to new and larger audiences.
Measuring the ANZACs is also supporting scientific research. The creation of the large database about 140,000 New Zealand soldiers is part of an international research project about health and mortality in New Zealand. Researchers on the project use the military records to study how Māori and Pākehā health differed in the past, how childhood diseases affected men’s health in later life, and how the war affected the health of survivors.