Do you have any Second World War related stories and objects passed down to you from your parents, grandparents and other family members? Would you like to share and preserve these objects and stories for future generations?
On Saturday 11 November 2023, bring your diaries, letters, photographs, memoirs, objects* or stories about your family’s experience in the war to Ulster University (Derry~Londonderry Campus), where they will be recorded and added to a free-to-use online archive.
Volunteers will be on hand from 11:00am to 3:00pm to welcome you and help record your story and photograph your objects.
The event is part of a nationwide campaign organised by Their Finest Hour, a team based at the University of Oxford and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which is collecting and preserving the everyday stories and objects of the Second World War.
As these stories are fast fading from living memory, it is vital that they - and the wartime objects that often accompany them - are preserved for future generations.
At the ‘Digital Collection Day’, stories about your family's wartime experience – and associated objects such as diaries, letters, medals, journals and ration books – will be recorded, digitised, and then uploaded to the Their Finest Hour online archive, which will be free-to-use and launch in June 2024.
Dr Adrian Grant, Lecturer in History at Ulster University, said:
“We’re very excited to host this important event that showcases the importance of local communities in understanding the heritage of the Second World War period. TheDerry~Londonderry campus is the ideal place for this event to take place given its role as both a US and Royal Navy site during the War. It gives us an excellent opportunity to discuss the heritage of the campus in conversation with people in the north west who will be bringing along their own stories and artefacts to help us understand this hugely significant period of history.”
What kinds of war-related stories and objects are you looking for?
Any, from the extraordinary to the seemingly 'ordinary'. We want our archive to reflect the diverse experiences of all those affected by the war: men and women across the British Empire and the Commonwealth who worked in industry, on the land, or in other roles; ran households and fought a daily battle of rationing; served in or supported the armed forces; and even those who refused to go to war for political or religious reasons. We are also interested in preserving children's experiences of the war and would like to hear about any relatives who refused to talk about their wartime experience.
Find out more:
*Please do not bring any loaded weapons or potentially dangerous objects to the Digital Collection Day.