A Bevy of Info at the Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum has always hosted a great deal of information regarding the First World War, but now they are doing so online. Their new internet-based exhibition hosts correspondence from the era as well as photographs and journal entries that detail what the war was like for those fighting it. The Imperial War Museum is calling the site “Lives of the First World War.”

Such artifacts are hosted on the site by the millions, making it not only the first war memorial to be entirely digitized, but also one of the largest exhibits of war-related information in existence. They hope to add even more on top of what they already have, showing that the Imperial War Museum is as dedicated to the project as they could be. Not only do they want to cover documentation on the majority of nations serving in the war, but they also want to include as many as possible out of those who did not serve.

The goal is not simply to provide a look into the military lifestyle at the time, but what society in general was like during the conflict. This means that to make a proper showing, the Imperial War Museum must include in the digital exhibit any form of personal documentation from the WWI era that they can find. They are trying to cover all walks of life, including civilians and protestors against the fighting, the Mail Online reports.

Because they would like their exhibit to be so all-inclusive, they are looking at things with a rational eye and realizing that they cannot provide all of the material themselves. In this spirit, they are seeking help from the public. The Imperial War Museum is asking all civilians with information regarding certain soldiers on which their documentation is lacking to provide what they can. This means surviving family members of those who had loved ones die or go missing in the war can finally have their stories told before the largest audience in the world.

The Imperial War Museum is fully aware that their project is an ambitious one, which is why the project is to be ongoing. Considering the inclusion of the public, there is likely to be no set ending date for putting the exhibition together. Despite (or perhaps because of) the massive scope of WWI, there are many soldiers on whom virtually nothing is known, and this is precisely what the Imperial War Museum hopes to change.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE