Partnership Patter – First World War Fraternising

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Photography: Paul Dodds

Partnership working was the order of the day last Friday (7th December) when Museums Galleries Scotland brought together organisations from across the heritage, cultural, education sectors and beyond to share plans to commemorate the centenary of WWI from 2014.

The networking event was held at the City Art Centre in Edinburgh and attracted a huge turnout with around 140 representatives from across 100 organisations. The format of the day was an informal market place with 16 stallholders including Britain from Above, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Edinburgh Garrison, Education Scotland, Gordon  Highlanders 1914 – 1918, Heritage Lottery Fund, Imperial War Museum, Museums Galleries Scotland, National Museums Scotland, Poppy Scotland, RCAHMS, Scotland’s War, Scottish Council on Archives, Scottish Libraries and Information Council, Scottish National War Memorial and SCRAN.

Joanne Orr, Chief Executive of Museums Galleries Scotland, kicked off the afternoon welcoming attendees and introducing the other speakers. David Seers provided an update from the Scottish Government, Gina Koutsika from the Imperial War Museum, talked about the progress of their project and the 1914.org website and funding information was supplied by Diane Gray from HLF. The rest of the afternoon was given over to mingling, networking and discussing Scotland’s role in the development of a UK-wide cultural commemorative programme for the centenaries.

2014 sees the beginning of a series of centenaries marking the First World War. Key events and developments relating to the conflict will be commemorated throughout 2014, including the Battle of the Somme, the Gallipoli campaign, the changing role of women, the Armistice and the emergence of war memorials listing the men and women who had gone to war and not returned.

Cross sector conversations ranged from sharing ideas on databases and digital content, pleas for funding, requests for loans and debate on how to utilise resources and collections and effectively engage young people.

I was overwhelmed by the numbers who attended and the enthusiasm and energy in the room on the day. One stall holder commented on the usefulness of the event, “This is like one giant jigsaw and you have brought all the pieces together”.

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Dave Clarke and Andrew Deans, from Gordon Highlanders 1914 – 1918. Photography: Paul Dodds

Museums Galleries Scotland is now collating information from the event to circulate to those who attended and aim to facilitate further partnership working and discussion in the New Year.  

If your organisation is planning to commemorate the centenary of WWI we would be delighted to hear from you – please contact me Relationship and Partnership Manager

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