Moving a gun into the Imperial Institute in 1924

Moving a gun into the Imperial Institute in 1924. 275 loads of exhibits weighing approximately 800 tons were moved during this period, with only three instances of minor damage to objects reported.  IWM (Q 36932)

Museum objects are seldom static – displays, exhibitions and research material move around all the time.   Transforming IWM London is just the latest in a long series of major moves, from the move to Crystal Palace in 1920, to the opening of AirSpace at IWM Duxford in 2006.

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IWM Youth Panel

The Youth Panel’s first meeting of the autumn term saw some new faces and some exciting new projects. To begin the day, we met Luke from the Digital Media department, who told us about a collaboration that IWM is working on with a leading global digital archive. This initiative, kicking off with workshops this month, will explore how crowdsourcing can help IWM learn more about its collections. This is one of a number of projects in which Youth Panel members will take on an important advisory role.

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PM David Cameron with IWM Young Reporters

PM David Cameron was interviewed by IWM Young Reporters from Archbishop Sumner School today following the announcement of the UK’s plans to mark the First World War Centenary.

Today, five IWM Young Reporters met Prime Minister David Cameron at IWM London.

The IWM Young Reporters are from two local primary schools, Archbishop Sumner School and Oasis Academy Johanna in south London. These Year 5 students are honing their reporting and investigative journalism skills so that they can report back to their communities and the wider public on all the changes that are going on at IWM London in the run-up to the First World War Centenary in 2014.

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As the video above says: ‘Such size might have awed and stupefied. But the call today is for mobility and speed.’

Keep your eyes peeled today if you’re in London or near Duxford, Cambridgeshire. The first of our large exhibits will be making its way through London to IWM Duxford on a street near you.

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IWM’s care and conservation team currently has 17 conservators working at our Duxford and London branches. Between us we have many decades of experience in the field of care and conservation working in the hangars, galleries and labs of IWM looking after a wide range of iconic exhibits such as the V2 rocket, a B-17 bomber, the Tamzine boat, a Wurzburg Radar; our huge art, photo and film collections down to small, everyday objects of conflict such as diaries, letters, uniform and firearms.

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French 75mm quick-firing gun

You may recognise the gun in this photo as one of the large objects which confront you as you enter IWM London’s famous atrium. It is our French 75mm quickfiring field gun.

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Conservation work on Zero Fighter at IWM Duxford

We’ve been doing a lot of conservation work at IWM Duxford on objects that are not currently on display so that we’re ready for the influx of large exhibits that will be arriving imminently from IWM London. Some of the incoming objects will require tight turnarounds as we’re on a schedule to get them ready and prepped to go back to IWM London in 2013.

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General Montgomery's Grant Tank

The Grant Tank used by Field Marshal Montgomery at the Battle of El Alamein will be the first vehicle to be moved from the ground floor of the Large Exhibits Gallery.

…But soon you won’t.

My role in transforming IWM London is to ensure that all the objects are moved safely out of the building and into storage or to the relevant workshops for conservation before we begin the major construction work on the building in January 2013.

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