Page last updated at 14:38 GMT, Friday, 30 May 2008 15:38 UK

Virtual museum of World War One

Victory Day Parade 1919
People are being urged to lend photographs and other memorabilia

A public appeal has been launched to track down important memorabilia passed belonging to soldiers who fought in the First World War.

The Great War Archive is set to become a huge virtual museum containing copies of thousands of precious memoirs from 1914-1918.

People are being urged to bring their artefacts to the Central Library in Edinburgh to have them photographed.

All the items will then feature on a website going live on 11 November 2008.

Researchers are looking for photographs, letters, poems, recordings and other war-time artefacts.

By taking part in this project members of the public can preserve their family's experience of the war
Stuart Lee
The Great War Archive

The search is also on for items or stories passed down from generation to generation about what life was like during the war at home in Scotland.

Staff will be on hand to collate all of the information using computers and to answer any questions at library on George IV Bridge on Wednesday, 4 June.

All items will be returned to contributors on the day.

Deidre Brock, Edinburgh City Council's culture and leisure committee convener, said: "This is a tremendous opportunity to uncover some amazing and previously unknown artefacts from the WWI which might otherwise never see the light of day.

"It is also an ideal opportunity to get expert help in finding out more about any family members who were involved in the war."

Stuart Lee, project manager of the archive, said: "We see the Great War Archive as being an important step in preserving the nation's memory about the men and women of Britain who fought or experienced the WWI either on active service or the frontline.

"As time passes many of the souvenirs, letters, diaries, and stories are in danger of being lost or thrown away, and the memories of what these people endured will be lost forever.

"By taking part in this project members of the public can preserve their family's experience of the war and have it preserved."


SEE ALSO
Western Front letters to be sold
03 May 08 |  Lincolnshire
Poem honours WWI veteran aged 109
07 Mar 08 |  Somerset

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