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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Online Museum Honors 1812 War

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In lieu of a real museum on Napoleon's Russian campaign of 1812, a group of history buffs is maintaining one online.

"Our site was thought up as a big virtual museum of the war of 1812, accessible for any user of the World Wide Web," said Oleg Polyakov, editor of the site and a computer programmer. "Unfortunately, there is no real museum."

The site, located at www.museum.ru/museum/1812, was founded in 1999 when Polyakov posted an online volume of E.V. Tarle's "Napoleon" on the Internet.

The site has since grown to include a wide array of features and materials -- from memoirs of participants from both the French and Russian sides in the Library section to maps of the Borodino battlefield. It is available in both Russian and English.

The Gallery section of the site has an online collection of paintings associated with the war, and each piece of art is accompanied by background and information on the artist.

There is also a section dealing with the army, including photographs of weapons used during the war and a chronicle of the campaign.

Around 100 people visit the site each day, Polyakov said.

The material for the site is taken from various sources, including books, magazines, conferences and documents from government and private archives, he said, adding that Russian and foreign authors and historians send in works for publication.

"A few of them have become co-authors of the project," he said. "Thanks to them, the 1812 site has attained a wealth of professional resources on war history, although it started as an amateur project."

The project is closely connected with the historical-reconstruction movement, Polyakov said.

"We try to understand the events of our own time that are somehow connected with the war of 1812," he said. The site carries announcements of exhibits, memorial events and documentaries.