A new digital archive from the Imperial War Museums, ‘Lives of the First World War’, has launched recently with the records of those who served in uniform across Britain and the Commonwealth or on the home front – over 4.5 million men and over 40,000 women.
This archive has public participation and interaction built in at its very core. Part of this is due to the very nature of WWI records lacking consistent levels of detail. At the moment many of those on ‘Lives of the First World War’ are currently only names. Imperial War Museums is asking the public to help identify them, piece together their stories, pictures and collectively remember all of them.
This is part of the Imperial War Museum's centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War, which is itself part of a global First World War Centenary Programme. IWM London is at the moment closed to the public until mid-July, so that it can under go a ‘transformation’ of its new First World War Galleries.
The Galleries will include interactive digital displays telling the lives of those who experienced WWI on both the front line and the home front through personal love letters, photographs, art and film. As well as displaying the normal exhibition suspects - artillery guns, weapons and uniforms – IWM London will also create immersive experience spaces such as a recreated trench featuring a Sopwith Camel fighter plane swooping low overhead and a Mark V tank looming from above.
Take a look at IWM London's progress.