Friday 20 June 2014

British Library WW1 exhibition focusses on endurance

The British Library in London has launched its exhibition Enduring War: Grief, Grit and Humour. Located in the Folio Society Gallery, it forms a major part of the institution's contribution to the First World War centenary, and will run until 12 October. Admission is free.

The exhibition examines how people coped with life during the war: from moments of patriotic fervour to periods of anxious inactivity, shock and despair. Through posters, poetry, books and pamphlets from the period, it considers attempts to boost morale at home and in the field, as well as presenting individual responses to the conflict, such as letters from Indian soldiers on the Western Front, schoolboys' descriptions of Zeppelin raids over London and examples of the black humour expressed in trench journals.

The Library's work for Europeana 1914-1918 is also showcased in the exhibition. This is a major pan-European project to digitise more than 400,000 items from World War One through an audiovisual art installation.

The Library will also be hosting a panel discussion on Wednesday 16 July on the theme of Forgotton Soldiers ie those 1million+ non-white people who died in the conflict. Many from Britain’s colonies were mobilised for service, while black Americans and men from the Caribbean, Africa, Vietnam, Thailand, China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other parts of the globe joined Western armies in both combat and non-combat roles.

Historian and broadcaster David Olusoga, presenter of the BBC documentary The World’s War, will be joined by distinguished historians to explore the legacy of these often forgotten soldiers.

The event will take place in the Terrace Restaurant from 6:30pm to 8pm. Cost: £8, (£6 Over 60s) and £5. Book here.