Thursday, November 5, 1998 Published at 12:10 GMT
'In Flanders fields the poppies blow...'
Wilfred Owen was killed just a week before the war ended
"If I thought the letter of this book would last, I might have used proper names; but if the spirit of it survives - survives Prussia - my ambition and those names will have achieved themselves fresher fields than Flanders"
Wilfred Owen, Preface, 1918
Central to modern day perceptions of World War I are the poets who seemed to speak so clearly for those who are often called the "lost generation".
Now anyone interested in studying World War I poetry and literature can access a host of manuscripts, photos and other archive material and follow "virtual seminars" on the subject at a website which has been set up by Oxford University.
The project was developed up by Dr Stuart Lee, of the university's Centre for Humanities Computing. He said that one of the reasons he set up the site was because of the popularity of literature from the period of the Great War.
The site draws on rare resources from Oxford University, the British Library, the Imperial War Museum, the Public Record Office, the Owen estate and the University of Texas.
Its intention is to allow students one-stop access to original material scattered around the world, which would be difficult for them to get in any other way.
Dr Lee has also developed a digital archive comprising of all the manuscripts of Wilfred Owen's war poetry, a selection of his letters and photographs and a complete run of The Hydra - the journal produced at the Craiglockhart Military Hospital where he was treated.
Dr Lee said: "The Internet is often criticised for its triviality and ephemeral nature.
So far, many of the seminars have been used in schools and universities around the world as part of traditional courses.
And Dr Lee said that dealing with the original sources has had an impact on some scholars.
After studying a reproduction of the manuscript of Owen's powerful poem Dulce et Decorum est one student said: "I felt much closer to Owen. The drafts are evidence of the long hours he spent on each poem."