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Published On: Fri, Aug 15th, 2014

Military Collections and Archives: Museums of World War I

The Battle of the Somme photo by Geoffrey Malins, public domain via wikimedia commons

The Battle of the Somme photo by Geoffrey Malins, public domain via wikimedia commons

There are a vast amount of war museums dotted around the globe and as you would expect, many of the countries directly involved in WW1, have a fascinating collection of artefacts and stories to tell to their visitors.

August 4th 2014 marks the centenary of World WarI and this has understandably heightened the interest and thirst for knowledge about this historic period in the lives of our ancestors.

There are now many excellent resources you can visit such as MadeFromHistory.com to find out more details and hear about amazing stories associated with WW1.

The First World War Centenary is a global commemoration that will see a number of major exhibitions and special events take place between 2014 and 2018.

Take a look at the diary of events and also consider planning a visit to a number of major museums where you can find out about so many tragic and uplifting stories where WW1 is brought to life through the images and displays that you can view.

German Albatros D.IIIs of Jagdstaffel 11 and Jagdstaffel 4 parked in a line at La Brayelle near Douai, France  photo/German photographer, public domain per wikimedia commons

German Albatros D.IIIs of Jagdstaffel 11 and Jagdstaffel 4 parked in a line at La Brayelle near Douai, France photo/German photographer, public domain per wikimedia commons

Western Front Battlefields

It is understandable that many people want to actually visit some of the famous battlefield sites, either from a personal family point of view, or simply to immerse themselves in the sense of history that you can feel there.

If you visit the Ypres salient area of Belgium, you will have a wide choice of World War museums that house a stunning array of military collections and battlefield relics. The In Flanders Fields museum is located in the centre of Ypres and the museum has undergone some major refurbishment in time for the centenary of 1914-1918. This means that you now get a closer experience of what the soldiers went through, with video projections, touch screens and soundscapes.

The battlefields of the Somme are an important part of the WW1 story and you can find many interesting exhibits and displays in museums located within this part of France. If you head to Péronne, you will find the Historial de la Grande Guerre where you learn some truly inspiring stories and see for yourself, some artefacts and relics from the war.

The Musee Somme 1916 tells you all about the Battle of the Somme and as you would rightly expect, there are a number of special events taking place as part of the commemoration of the 1914-1918 war.

Around the world

The battlefields of Europe are certainly not the only places where some highly interesting museums are situated.

The Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia has ten galleries to visit and numerous talks and speeches going on.

If you visit Ottawa in Canada, you will be able to see the museum that is dedicated to promoting an understanding and appreciation of the nation’s military history and gain a greater perspective on the service and sacrifice made my Canadian military personnel.

There is also a hugely significant museum to visit in the United States of America. The National World War 1 museum in Kansas, was opened in 2006 and as well as a range of permanent and special exhibitions, you can also gain access to over 60,000 archival documents and 6,000 books.

The centenary of WW1 is another milestone in world history and presents a perfect opportunity to plan some memorable visits to some of the many museums that commemorate the war and those that gave their lives.

Guest Author :

Eve Anderson enjoys traveling and visiting various museums. She especially likes researching military collections and memorabilia. She enjoys sharing her research online.

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