Photo by Hannah Wernecke on Unsplash

Hello again everyone! I am excited to be talking about military history and museum this month especially as this is something I’ve really been enjoying getting more and more involved with this last year. I appreciate some of you may be doing your PhDs in collaboration with a museum and others may have had no cause to even visit one but hopefully this edition will have something for you all to inspire you to visit somewhere new or consider what collaborating with a museum could look like.

When you think of a military museum I expect you think either of the big attractions, the Imperial War Museum for example, or maybe you think of a museum local to where you live or grew up. If you stop and think about it military history is available all around for us and the public to engage with whether it is a local war memorial, battlefield tours, virtual galleries, military history and, of course, military museums themselves. And it is not just about a day trip out, military museums have some of the most amazing archives, run fantastic programmes of events as well as temporary exhibitions.

Some of the bigger military museums are Independent Research Organisations themselves and as such have their own research agendas. The national museums of the single services all have leads for academic outreach also so they can be a great starting point for talking about what you and they are working on.

When you read the various stories of working with museums in many different guises contained within the newsletter, with any luck you will feel inspired to reach out to one and consider how you can help each other. Perhaps you bring some specialist knowledge that could inform a display or exhibit they are working on, maybe they are looking for trustees, speakers for their events programme. With impact and public engagement in mind (and not because it’s a university buzzword but because it can be fun and fulfilling!), a military museum can be a fantastic place to share your research with a new audience, helping you to build new connections that can help with your research.

So read on, enjoy and let us know about your future work with museums.

Hannah West
Chair of the Defence Research Network

See the full newsletter here: Military History and Museums

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