University of Ulster researchers are encouraging community groups to take part in a major international research project on World War One and its legacy.
Historical societies and other groups with a story or artefacts relating to the Great War are being invited to contribute to its centenary commemoration initiative.
Located in Belfast, Living Legacies 1914-1918: From Past Conflict to Shared Future, is one of only five World War One Engagement Centres in the UK.
The Centre will use research on the First World War as a basis to create outreach programmes and activities over the next three years.
University of Ulster migration researcher, Dr Johanne Devlin Trew, said: “The aim of the project is to assist local communities to tell their stories and share them with others; rediscover the forgotten WWI heritage in our landscapes; find out why and where people moved as a result of the war and express stories about the conflict through drama and theatre.
“The World War One project provides an opportunity for the University of Ulster to contribute to the legacy of this pivotal event in the 20th century.
“I’m keen to hear about individual life stories from the home front and at war that connect us at the local level to the larger WWI story.”
Canadian-born, Dr Trew is a leading migration expert based at the University of Ulster. She recently published the first book to detail Northern Ireland’s migration history, Leaving the North: Migration and Memory, Northern Ireland, 1921-2011.
Meanwhile Elizabeth Crooke, Professor of Heritage and Museum Studies at Ulster, would like to link up with museums, local people or community groups with artefacts, letters, diaries or photographs associated with the First World War.
She said: “If you are interested in displaying your photograph or letter collections, for example, as well as interpreting and sharing their significance, then please get in touch with me.“
The World War One Engagement Centre represents a partnership between the University of Ulster, Queen’s University Belfast and National Museums Northern Ireland. It is funded by £500,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The new centre will be officially launched at an evening event in the University of Ulster’s Belfast campus on May 19, 2014. The launch will feature a public lecture by Professor Richard Grayson of Goldsmiths, University of London and the Imperial War Museum.
More information is available at www.LivingLegacies1914-18.ac.uk