Imperial War Museum Image of Social Interpretation Blog title

Merry Christmas! (Or how I Learned to Love The Bomb)

Christmas from our collections - the woman on the left scares me a little. (

I thought that I’d post a quick Merry Christmas (or just happy holidays if you’d like) to everyone.

But then couldn’t resist a quick post. Because while searching for Christmas in our collections, theĀ disturbingĀ image below appeared reasonably high in the results:

... because nothing so perfectly embodies the holiday spirit than the test of a nuclear weapon. BRITISH HYDROGEN BOMB TESTS AT CHRISTMAS ISLAND (

An aim of this project is to encourage deeper engagement with out collections, leading to increased spread and advocacy. Out favoured technique for this is through ‘related objects’ – those that we think audiences will be interested in, based on the seed object they’re looking at.

But, with results like the one above, it remains a challenge for us to work out exactly how to serve appropriate objects. Here are a few options:

  • Simple search based on object meta-data
  • Web-analytics data (people who looked at this also looked at these…)
  • Social-data (people who collected this also collected these…)
  • Curatorial decision
I’m sure that there are more. And we don’t yet know which one(s) we’ll go for. But it’s an interesting problem to mull-over, over mulled-wine.




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