Saturday, 24 August 2013

Inverclydes Great War - McLean Museum

McLean Museum

Your museum needs you: WWI poster collection to go online

The country’s largest collection of world war one posters will be given a new lease of life online.
For, thanks to a heritage lottery fund (HLF) grant of £51,300, the collection at Inverclyde Council’s McLean Museum will be preserved and published online through a new website.

The collection of over 300 posters from the First World War includes recruitment posters from the Great War encouraging civilians to sign up and serve in the conflict. It also includes propaganda posters encouraging those at home to buy war bonds and there’s a large collection of German occupation posters used by the military during their occupation of foreign countries.

The digital poster collection will be a key element of Scotland’s commemoration of WWI next year.
Inverclyde’s communities vice-convener, Councillor James McColgan, said: “Next year the entire country will remember the 100 years since the beginning of one of the bloodiest conflicts in history. Communities in Inverclyde, like many parts of Scotland were torn apart by the war with generations of families changed forever.
“The commemorations of the centenary next year give communities across the country the chance to remember the sacrifices made and the impact those sacrifices had on the shape of our country today.
“The poster which stands out in many people’s memories is the famous image of Lord Kitchener with the legend: Your country needs you. However this incredible collection of posters show the vast range of messages being promoted in the lead up to and during the conflict.
“There are recruitment posters urging men to sign up to join the battles, there are promotional posters urging locals to help fund the war through war bonds. There’s even a collection of rare German propaganda posters. The artwork and message of these posters reflect a different time and by being able to make them available online we can share this fascinating glimpse into that conflict with generations to come.”
The project will digitise the collection of over 300 posters. A collection of local newspapers from that period is also set to be digitised. A blue heritage plaque will be placed at the site of the Greenock headquarters of the 1/5th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Inverclyde was traditionally an important recruiting area for the regiment.

Colin McLean, Head of HLF Scotland, said “Saving our historic archives is important as they provide such a valuable resource for anyone wanting to explore their past. This First World War collection is bursting with images that give us clues about what life was like and how that has shaped us into what we are today.”
Workshops will be arranged and there’ll also be displays in Inverclyde’s McLean Museum in Greenock.

A play based on the letters sent back home from soldiers serving in the Battle of Gallipoli will be produced and performed in the museum and in local community centres. There will also be a leaflet produced and special tour programme created of the WWI graves.

 As well as the large collection of posters, the online website will also include muster rolls and residents will also be able to upload their own memories and photographs to add to the collection.
Inverclyde Council’s McLean Museum is based in Greenock.

You can get regular updates from the project on their facebook page.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. To date it has invested over £500 million in Scotland’s heritage. Website:

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