Wartime memories to be held digitally for future generations

Precious stories that are fading fast from living memory are to be digitally recorded in a Second World War archive.

Rainy hall interior
Rainy Hall at New College by Lorna Campbell

People from Edinburgh and its surrounds can share experiences and objects linked to the conflict at a one-off event on Saturday 25 November.

University of Edinburgh staff are hosting the event, which takes place from 10am to 4pm in Rainy Hall at New College on The Mound.

The Digital Collection Day is being held in partnership with Their Finest Hour – a nationwide project led by the University of Oxford.

The digital initiative, which collects and preserves Second World War memories, is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund

Interview setting

Attendees at the Edinburgh event will be given the opportunity to share their family’s wartime experiences, which will be recorded in an interview setting.

Associated objects – such as diaries, letters, medals, journals and ration books – will be photographed on the day.

Transcribed interviews and photographs of the objects will be digitised and then uploaded to the online archive, Their Finest Hour. The archive, to be launched in June 2024, will be free-to-use.

Wartime memorabilia

Second World War memorabilia – on loan from Museums & Galleries Edinburgh – will be on display at the event, which is free to attend and open to all.

The event team says it wants to record stories from around the world, and from people of all backgrounds, to increase the diversity of Second World War history.

Dr Melissa Highton, Assistant Principal at the University of Edinburgh, said: “I hope we will be able to find some of the stories, which might usually go untold, of the wide and diverse impact of the Second World War and ensure that these experiences are archived and made available online.”

People can register for the Digital Collection Day on Eventbrite.

Related links

Their Finest Hour

Museums & Galleries Edinburgh