World War One Engagement Centres
The Engagement Centres will support a wide range of community engagement activities across the UK, connecting academic and public histories of the First World War as part of the commemoration of the War’s centenary, which begins this year.
A key focus of the five Engagement Centres is to provide UK-wide support for community groups funded through a range of Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) funding programmes, particularly its new £6m ‘First World War: Then and Now’ community grants scheme.
The following are World War One Engagement Centres:
|Name of Centre||Lead University|
|Voices of War and Peace||University of Birmingham|
|Gateways to the First World War||University of Kent|
|Living Legacies 1914-1918||Queen's University Belfast|
|Everyday Lives in War||University of Hertfordshire|
|Centre for Hidden Histories||University of Nottingham|
Themes and areas of expertise
Each of the five Engagement Centres has announced an initial set of themes / areas of expertise on which they are able to provide support to communities across the UK thinking of undertaking commemorative activities relating to the centenary of the First World War. These themes are expected to evolve during the course of the centenary in the light of interest from community groups.
The University of Birmingham, in collaboration with (amongst others) Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester Metropolitan, Birmingham City, Wolverhampton and Worcester Universities & Newman University College
The centre offers research support and guidance for community groups around the First World War in general and in particular around the following themes:
- Belief and the Great War
- Cities at War
- Gender and the Home Front
The centre was officially launched on 21 March at the Library of Birmingham. Enquiries can be sent to: email@example.com.
University of Kent, in collaboration with (amongst others) Leeds, Brighton, Greenwich and Portsmouth Universities and Queen Mary, University of London
Gateways contains a range of expertise which can help you explore the following areas:
- Memorials, commemoration and memory
- Life on the Home and Fighting Fronts
- The medical history of the First World War
- Wartime propaganda and popular culture
- Maritime and naval history
- Operational and military history
The centre was formally launched on 31 May 2014, and enquiries can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
University of Hertfordshire, in collaboration with (amongst others) Universities of Central Lancashire, Lincoln, Exeter and Essex
How did war affect daily life between 1914 and 1918; what was the legacy of the conflict? This centre aims to encourage community research into questions such as these and has particular expertise in:
- First World War food and farming
- Theatre and entertainment
- Conscientious objection and military tribunals
- Supernatural beliefs
- Family relationships
- Cartoons, trench publications and popular culture
The centre welcomes enquiries on its specific themes and on general First World War topics:email@example.com.
Queen’s University Belfast, in collaboration with (amongst others) Universities of Ulster, Newcastle and Wales and Goldsmiths College University of London
The ‘Living Legacies’ First World War Engagement Centre in Belfast is exploring the enduring impacts and legacies of the First World War and how it lives on in the twenty-first century.
The Centre is interested in helping communities to;
- tell their stories and share these stories with others;
- rediscover the forgotten First World War heritage in our landscapes;
- find out why and where people moved as a result of the war;
- express stories about the conflict through drama and theatre
It has particular expertise in the following areas:
- Museums and exhibitions
- Migration and 'moving lives'
- Material cultures and archaeology
- Digital technologies and digitisation
- Performing arts
If you are also interested in exploring these themes, the centre would be delighted to hear from you! Together, by connecting diverse stories and experiences through our research, the centre hopes to build a better, shared understanding of the living legacies of the First World War.
The centre was officially launched in Belfast in May 2014, and would welcome enquiries about developing collaborative projects; please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
University of Nottinghamin collaboration with (amongst others), Oxford Brookes, Manchester Metropolitan, Nottingham Trent and Derby Universities
Do you feel your community or descendants are being ignored by the 1914-18 commemorations? This centre is particularly interested in developing commemorative projects with national, faith and other emerging communities whose histories are rarely considered, and for whom the traditional Armistice Day celebrations may have strikingly different meanings.
The centre’s key thematic interests include:
- Migration and displacement
- The experience of ‘others’, from countries and regions within Europe, Asia and the Commonwealth
- Impact and subsequent legacies of the war on diverse communities within Britain
- Remembrance and commemoration
- Identity and faith
The centre would welcome enquiries if you are interested in their themes or are looking for collaborative opportunities; please contact HiddenHistories@nottingham.ac.uk.