The Imperial War Museum ( IWM ) has changed a lot since I first
visited it some time around 1963.
I still have a very strong impression of just what the museum
was like at the time,
and the displays upon the horrors of World War One.
I’ve been back to the IWM several times over the years since
I Recently went on a librarians visit to the new
Explore History Centre within the IWM.
The Explore centre replaces what used to be the Museum
Library, and is a good starting place for anyone who wishes to
learn more about the various aspects of the various wars
which Britain has been involved in since the turn of the 19th
Not only can one access the books and papers which are held
within the museum,
but it’s audio visual materials too.
This is also the starting point from which one may undertake
some research in to ones family history,
but find out about how wars have been waged during the 20th
The idea behind the Explore Centre is that what is held within
the Museum should be easily available to everyone.
Both World War One & Two were ‘peoples wars’,
and the collection is a reflection of this very fact.
Thus the Museum has a vast collection of books, documents,
and other items upon the subject of Conscientious Objection,
together with many sound recording made by COs.
by Harold Bing.
Amongst the items I was shown the last letter of Edith Cavell,
whos statue Women In Black hold their vigils,
a collection of letters from people who were on the Lusitania
when it was torpedoed in 1915.
The IWM has a holding of over 5 miles of books,
and the largest collection of paintings within the UK.
So you should be able to find something of interst for