The Digital War Memorial

Local communities collaborate with artists, including musicians, writers and painters, to create a showcase of artwork inspired by First World War material.

Project Description

United Kingdom
Partner: Society of Chief Librarians 
Funder:Arts Council England


Explore the collection



The Society of Chief Librarians were running a project 10 local public libraries to engage their local communities to commemorate the First World War. The purpose of the project was to:

  • use libraries’ heritage collections and collaborations with local artists to create unique creative responses
  • curate a Digital War Memorial made up of images, videos and sound that could be explored, shared and added to
What happened?

Local libraries ran community engagement projects to engage their community with their collections and collaborate to commemorate it. The projects started with the rich and diverse materials held by public libraries and archive services: photographs, newspapers, letters and other documents. Community groups then worked with artists using poetry, dance, music, writing and visual arts to reflect on the impact of the First World War and how it resonates a century later. For example, Leeds Library focused on a physical scrapbook from a local military hospital and Lancashire Library looked at military tribunal records. The creative artworks included artworks, poems and plays.

Each of the 10 local projects had a collection on Historypin where all the historical materials were uploaded, alongside the new creative works in the form of videos, sound clips and images. All these projects were brought together within the Digital War Memorial collection so people could explore individual projects and the collection as a whole.

Read more here.

What was created?
  • 10 collaborative community projects between local libraries, their community and local artists which included activities and events to explore local archives and creating collaborative artworks and performances.
  • hub on Historypin which showcased the 10 projects, the historical source materials that inspired them and the new creative works.




Design & Digital

  • Designed the creative identity for the project
  • Built a custom hub with a unique design, theme and partnership branding to house the 10 projects
  • Designed and created custom collections for each of the 10 projects
  • Created support materials that enabled the digital curator on the project to support each local library to upload materials

If you’d like to run a similar project with Historypin, get in touch.