PEOPLE with stories and objects relating to the Second World War are invited to bring them to a Digital Collection Day at Leicester Central Library later this week.
The event is part of a nationwide campaign organised by Their Finest Hour, a team based at the University of Oxford and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which is collecting and preserving the everyday stories and objects of the Second World War.
As these stories are fast fading from living memory, the team is determined that they – and the wartime objects that often accompany them – are preserved for future generations.
At the event on Saturday (9 September), families’ wartime stories and associated objects – such as diaries, letters, medals, journals and ration books – will be recorded, digitised, and then uploaded to the Their Finest Hour online archive.
The archive will be free-to-use when it’s launched in June 2024.
Cllr Vi Dempster, assistant city mayor for education, libraries and community centres, said: “We’re very pleased to host this event at Leicester Central Library on Saturday and hope that people will pop in with their memories and memorabilia from the Second World War.
“Researchers are hoping to capture the wartime stories of people of all backgrounds to ensure the archive reflects a diverse range of experiences, so I hope that people from all of Leicester’s communities will come forward with their memories.
“Each memory and each story will form an important part of the new archive.”
Dr Stuart Lee, project leader at the University of Oxford, said: “We’re delighted to be able to create an archive of memories of the Second World War.
“We know from previous projects that people have so many wonderful objects, photos and anecdotes, which have been passed down from family members and which are at risk of getting lost or being forgotten.
“Our aim is to empower local communities to digitally preserve these stories and objects, before they are lost to posterity.”
The Digital Collection Day for Their Finest Hour takes place at Leicester Central Library on Bishop Street on Saturday 9 September between 9.30am and 3pm.
For more information about the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0116 299 5401.
For more information about the project, visit theirfinesthour.org.
Picture caption: The Faire Brothers factory, next to Freeman, Hardy and Willis, on Rutland Street in Leicester. The first bombs to land on Freeman, Hardy and Willis fell at about 7.59pm on 19 November 1940.