IWM London atrium in 2012

‘Is that real?’ This is a question frequently asked of the large exhibits in IWM London’s atrium.  The answer is of course yes.  The real question here is why would our visitors question whether we were displaying real historical objects? The answer lies in their display.

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Members of IWM Youth Panel

Hi, we’re Claudia, Josiah, Zipporah, Ruben and Elana and we’re part of the new IWM youth panel.

We are helping the museum relate to other teenagers. So far we have visited some art archives as well as film archives which have collections from the First and Second World Wars. We also filmed in both locations, giving a brief documentary on our experiences. These can be viewed on our Facebook page.

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A fete in London, 1943. © IWM (D 14677)

Our three Youth Panel taster sessions for local youth at IWM London were a big hit. We were really pleased to meet young people who are interested in making a difference at IWM. We’re buzzing and can’t wait for the next stage in the journey.

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Members of the local community gather at IWM London

Members of the local community met with us last week to discuss the latest developments in the transformation of IWM London

Last Wednesday, we held an open evening for the local community, one in our ongoing series of community events. People from the local area came in to meet the team and discuss the latest developments in our plans to transform IWM London.

Thank you to everyone who joined us!

Some interesting questions were raised over the course of the evening. For those of you who were unable to attend (perhaps due to a certain sideburn-sporting cyclist winning gold medals), here are some highlights from the Q&A:

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The Tiled Eagle

The German mural ‘Tiled Eagle’ which has been at the museum since 1919.

If you’ve visited IWM London in the past few weeks, you may have seen me around. I’ve been doing some conservation work to prepare many of the objects in the large exhibits gallery for their moves in the autumn. Some of the objects I’ve already worked on are the shells and guns including the French 75mm Field Gun.

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Crystal Palace

The army section display at Crystal Palace, 1920. Although the space was dramatic, the glass structure and four year lease meant it was unsuitable as a long term home for the Museum.

Welcome to the first in a series of blogs from the museum archive. With the transformation of IWM London now moving into  full swing, we thought it would be a good opportunity to tell you more about the history of the Lambeth Road building that our London branch has occupied for over 70 years.

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A design for the new First World War Galleries by Casson Mann © IWM

We are delighted to announce that IWM has secured the £4.5million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help finance the creation of new ground-breaking First World War Galleries at IWM London which are set to open in June 2014 to mark the First World War Centenary.

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25 pounder Mk II

This week we are beginning to prepare the objects in the Large Exhibits Gallery for their movement and storage this autumn. After weeks of preparation we have put together a work schedule to ensure we can access the objects and have the equipment we need. This is a team effort involving many departments from the museum including, design, communications and marketing, security and visitor services.

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