A day at the Imperial War Museum London

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I volunteered to do some research for NE Yorkshire Geology Trust project "Who Digs Wins" funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund on the role of geology in the First World War.

Benedicte Windle at the IWMThe IWM seemed a sensible place to start my investigation as I wasn't sure where and what to look for. I telephoned the Museum and asked whether I could talk to someone who could direct my research. I was advised to search the Collection online, book an appointment to view the documents selected in the Research Room and put through to the Head of First World War & Early 20th Century Conflict in one phone call!

And so it was that on January 23rd I went to London for my day at the Museum. I first met the WWI Curator in the All Saints Building a few streets away from the Imperial War Museum. We had a fruitful meeting, discussing the project in more detail (I had emailed him the press release). He explained the IWM Collection and having done some research and responding to my information, also suggested more avenues for research, The History of the Ministry of Munitions and the Royal Engineers Museum for the mining and tunneling at the Front for example.The Imperial War Museum, London

After our hour meeting, I visited the WWI Gallery at the Museum waiting for the research session I had booked for the afternoon. Armed with my purchased photography permit and my £1 coin for the locker, I entered the Research Room just with a pencil, a notebook and my phone on silent. I had a wonderful afternoon and quite caught the research bug.

The research room at IWMThe document I had booked turned out to be a useful pamphlet on the early days of the military use of geology. I read extracts and decided to photograph it all as it was most relevant and a relatively small document. I was then able to request another book, I had become aware of after I had booked my session. I was lucky within 10 minutes I was able to read it and find out why an Australian geologist was awarded a state funeral.

Next I have made arrangements to do some research at the Royal Engineers' Museum and I will be back to the Imperial War Museum to explore The History of the Ministry of Munitions Vol. 1,2 and 7!

If like me you want to be involved in research for the Trust's project, if you have a relative who was involved in the iron industry or you want to contribute and take part in the events we are planning, please contact NE Yorkshire Geology Trust via the form on the 'Contact us' page.

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