LIMERICK’S collection of World War One memorabilia will be collected and recorded for European archives next week, in advance of the 100th anniversary of outbreak of the war in 1914.
Following on from a WW1 roadshow in Dublin earlier this year, with hundreds of people bringing memorabilia belonging to family and friends who took part in the war, it is hoped that people in Limerick will follow suit.
All who contribute will have their stories and items recorded in the first ever online European archive of private stories and documents from World War One, a project led by Oxford University and Europeana, Europe’s digital library, museum and archive.
Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan will attend the roadshow this Monday, November 5, at the Hunt Museum, where there will also be historians and experts on hand to talk to visitors about the significance of their finds.
People are invited to bring their memorabilia - anything from diaries to helmets, and from medals to postcards - to the museum, where it will be digitised and added to the online archive, along with the stories that bring these objects to life.
“We are hoping people from Limerick and further afield will bring in anything from the 1914-1918 period, be it a family photo, a love letter, some sort of document or object,” said Dr Hugh Maguire, director of the museum.
“It doesn’t matter if people don’t know all the background behind it. Once the material is online, then it’s likely that researchers and other individuals will be able to fill in some of those information gaps themselves.”
Fiona Ross, director of the National Library, said that digitisation is preserving memories that might otherwise be lost.
“The Europeana 1914-1918 archive captures personal history from families all over Europe, while allowing that information to be available to everyone and to bring history alive for people in contemporary ways”, she added.
In 2011, more than 25,000 digital images were recorded from nine family history roadshows held in major cities across Germany. Among the images scanned and digitised were unpublished diaries, hand-drawn maps, portraits, sketches and photographs recording life under fire and on the home front.
Places for the roadshow are limited. Anyone wishing to attend and share their stories and keepsakes, between 10am and 5pm, should make an advance booking by calling the National Library at 01-603 0346, or by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org