Imperial War Museum

Discussion in 'Research Material' started by Noel Burgess, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    You're probably right Adam. My last visit was restricted to the Photo Collection annex so I can't really comment. I like archives !
  2. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    They seem to be seriously going at the digitisation effort, fingers crossed for that. Maybe a new building and everything digitised means they can make a better job of the paper/film archives at the same time.
    Imperial War Museum battles data storage - 03 Aug 2010 - Computing
    Could go either way, but it could be great.

    Some interesting 'official' stuff on their plans/obligations/spending/audits here:
    Imperial War Museum - Corporate Reports

    I hadn't realised they'd already put up so many 'sub-sites' either - I usually pop in to find a photo then leave:
    IWM Home Page > Learning > Resources Online
    Among others.

    My eldest is just starting WW2 at school. Might have to trawl some of that stuff.
  3. Alan Allport

    Alan Allport Senior Member

    They have an excellent new document reading room on the first floor which means that all that tiresome traipsing to and fro the cupola, bored security guard leading the way, is no longer necessary.

    Best, Alan
  4. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Alan, Adam, Rich,
    I suspect we are all saying similar things really. Yes museums, as all buildings do, need frequent, if not constant updating and occasionally a complete rehash. I work in the construction industry so feel slightly qualified to comment on this having worked on both client and designer side of the fence.
    A responsible 'client' ie the Museum Trustees need to ensure that certain elements of the facility are 'ringfenced' to prevent a modernist/revisionist Architect running riot with a ground breaking and Architectural award-winning design that might detract from the primary purpose and, to some extent, character of the facility.
    A properly draughted design brief should do this. Unless they want a controversial project.

    Yes, Foster might come up with something unacceptable to the Trustees and they reject it, or ask for revisions, which I suspect is what has happened here. It appears in the papers and we all throw our hands up in horror at what might have been without reading between the lines (as Alan kindly pointed out).

    I hope the Trustees of IWM get this right.

  5. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Article from the London Evening Standard.

    Battle lines are drawn at the Imperial War Museum
    More news from the Imperial War Museum which, as I revealed yesterday, is playing down its imperialist past. My man by the Spitfire reports that a team of architects from Foster & Partners has been spotted at the IWM walking around with clipboards working out what they can salvage of Lord Foster’s ambitious £23.5 million scheme, due to be completed for the centenary of the start of the First World War in 2014, which was shot down when it was refused a Heritage Lottery Fund grant in May. The loss of the scheme was seen as a setback for IWM director Diane Lees, but staff, I’m told, were pleased because Lord Foster’s previous proposal to remove the iconic naval guns from the front of the building was universally unpopular. Now that the clipboard team has reappeared there are fears the planned underground entrance, the reduction of traditional exhibits in favour of videos and electronic gadgetry and many other expensive plans may be resurrected. There are even disloyal whispers that Lees doesn’t

    Londoner's Diary | Evening Standard
  6. Alan Allport

    Alan Allport Senior Member

    Sigh, the guns again ...

    Look, I like the guns. I think they should leave them as they are. I'd miss them if they weren't there. But treating them as if they're somehow timeless and sacred is just silly. They were only installed in 1968, long after the Museum had relocated to the Lambeth site. The IWM itself has been through several physical reincarnations since its founding. Its mission has evolved several times also. Like every other institution, it has altered with the demands of new generations of visitors and scholars. This is not in itself a bad thing.

    Personally, I'm ambivalent about the Foster recommendations. I'm a less-is-more kind of man when it comes to change. But treating the current set-up at the IWM as a holy relic which it would be blasphemous to even consider altering in any way whatsoever is bad history - even if the Diary column of the Evening Standard, with its tiresome bugaboos about Political Correctness, disagrees.

    Best, Alan
  7. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    I say leave them be they are an institution them there guns, change for changes sake helps no one but change to meet the demands of the current visitors need to be addresses and a balance between traditional and electronic wizardry obtained or kept.
  8. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Ah!....... the guns............

    How dare they even think of taking them away :mad:


    Attached Files:

  9. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    This issue always gets me riled.

    Speaking as a 23 year old, borderline technophile, I feel I have a good view on this technowizardry.

    I have been to many museums in my time, before and after the digitalisation nonsense, and been to many museums as a kid which were made all modern and wonderfully hi-tech.

    It is pure and utter crap.

    It does not engage the youth at all, often they say "we need to modernise" but they do so without considering whether kids actually are engaged with it at all. An engaging tour guide showing us Roman artifacts actually had a large school group enthused, even with the most troublesome pupils. When we went to modern digital places, we just (pardon the language) fucked around, as its boring.

    A museum I won't name went down this route, and I believe won awards for its changes, my friends who have gone their say its atmosphere is done, its not great and has a sterile feel to things. Most museums have tiny amounts of storage nowerdays and are clearing out unverified items in their collection to spare room, or combining their storage with other museums leading to confusion and hard to access stores for both parties.

    I've only been to one museum where I thought they used a video very well, its often slapped together and is rather cheap and naff. If the IWM went down this route, as I expect under this foolish woman, it'd lose a look that has become iconic over the last 40 years, and also lose much appeal to the youth who have an interest in history.

    But they won't talk to the young un's who know this as they are muppets. And most likely think they know better...
  10. Assam

    Assam Senior Member

    I wish they had someone like the late Dianna Condell with them. She was a bloody marvell IMHO. Old school who understood about boys & their guns. Was responsible for the modernisation of the IWM back in the '70's,'80's & early '90's when they did an exhibit makeover (god knows what it is was like up until then)..

    I had the privilage of a day with her in 1980 & what she pulled out of that vault to show me was no ones business, absolutely incredible & I am talking stuff they did not have room for.

    ATB simon
  11. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Sorry to be a bigger bore than usual, but the thread title has re-called my main "beef" against the IWM so here it comes again, just note the date on which I handed over the album :(

    What then, am I complaining about ?

    Simply that after a period of 18 months or so, the Album has yet to be catalogued and in museum terms this means that no potential researcher would even know that it existed.

    I understand completely that the museum is going digital but would dearly like to see the Album available for research before I shuffle off this immortal coil.

    Rant over (for the moment )


    The deed is done !

    At 10:45am today, the 18th of February 2010, accompanied by my personal photographer (who also happens to be my lovely wife, Nita) I arrived at the Imperial War Museum in Lambeth Road, London, for the express purpose of donating my Army Album to the Museum's Archives.

    The snaps attached below are pretty self explanatory and the young man receiving the Album on behalf of IWM was Archivist Anthony Richards. I had also previously been asked to deposit a copy of my personal story, plus a transcript of my diaries and I had brought these along on a memory stick for that particular purpose.

    Once the Album has been catalogued etc, it will then be available for viewing by any genuine researcher.

    Until then (and indeed,after that time) it can be seen on my Blogsite that is already set up at:
    Ron Goldstein's Actual Army Album

    Bye-Bye album :frown:


    I've added a copy of a letter received from the IWM on 26/2/10
    Attached Thumbnails
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Is something up with their website at the moment?

    I'm trying to find this image and the details associated with it:

    Rich Payne posted it originally with the following info from IWM:

    This is an IWM print showing 1 AA Bde at Le Mans in September 1939 with a CDSW wearing '20' as we'd expect.

    Foulkes Vehicle Markings of the BEF show it to be either to be 52 or 54 LAA Regt and I'm trying to confirm either way.
  13. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    The search function is dead for me. I can get to a few of the main site pages, but otherwise it's mostly "Page Unavailable".
  14. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Many thanks - Back to trying to find the diaries to match pictures :)
  16. mikky

    mikky Member

    The Imperial War Museum Website appear to have added much new material to their website. Film footage, Interviews, images, and much more. here is a great deal to find.
    A few examples

    Interviews with Chindits

    Footage Alamein

    Images Monte Cassino

    etc etc
  17. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Thanks Mike,

    I had a quick look and picked out a new one for me to listen to. 194 Squadron personnel, supply drops info, very interesting. :)
  18. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Went back to the same recording tonight, now it won't play. Is it me or are they up to their old tricks again!!! On, off, on, off!!! :mad:
  19. mikky

    mikky Member

    Hi bamboo. This happened the other day, and was temporary. Perhaps they are uploading more. If so, then we can perhaps forgive them. There is a great deal that has been made available recently, and I have barely scratched the surface.

  20. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Thanks Mike,

    Yes, I must be more patient. :)

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