The National Archives and the Everyday Lives in War Engagement Centre, on behalf of the five national World War One Engagement Centres funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, are holding a three-day event in September 2016 to explore a range of themes regarding life on the Home Fronts. We are bringing together academics, independent researchers, community groups, museums and archives, amongst others, to generate dynamic discussion and networking opportunities. This is a great opportunity to share recent and ongoing work, get inspired to conduct new research, and foster new collaborations across the country and between different groups interested in the themes of the event.


About Us



The National Archives First World War Programme

The National Archives holds the official UK government records of the First World War, including a vast collection of letters, diaries, maps and photographs. We are marking the centenary of the war with an extensive programme, spanning a five-year period between 2014 and 2019. Our programme aims to showcase a variety of histories during the First World War exploring lives on the Home Front as well as in theatres of war in a global context.


Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) First World War Engagement Centres

The AHRC is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The Council is committed to supporting research and researchers, and enabling the exchange of knowledge to deliver civic, cultural and economic benefits.

The AHRC, in partnership with Imperial War Museum, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the BBC and other organisations, is working to ensure that arts and humanities research plays a central role in the commemoration, bringing new perspectives and interpretations to bear on our understanding of the War and its legacy, sparking contemporary resonances and inspiring public interest.

In partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund, five World War One Engagement Centres will support a wide range of community engagement activities, connecting academic and public histories of the First World War as part of the commemoration of the War’s centenary.



 – The Everyday Lives in War centre is based at the University of Hertfordshire, in collaboration with the Universities of Essex, Northampton, Exeter, Lincoln and Central Lancashire. We are curious about the impact of war on everyday life between 1914 and 1918 and its longer-term effects. We’re already working actively with community groups and look forward to welcoming new partners across the UK. Whether you’re interested in supernatural beliefs, dairy farming, conscientious objectors, what people saw on stage or memories of childhood, we’re keen to work together on new sources and questions about these and other aspects of the FWW.


 – Staffed by a consortium of academics from the Universities of Nottingham, Derby, Nottingham Trent, Manchester Metropolitan, Oxford Brooks, UCL and Goldsmith’s, the Centre for Hidden Histories has a particular interest in the themes of migration and displacement, the experience of ‘others’ from countries and regions within Europe, Asia and the Commonwealth, the impact and subsequent legacies of the war on diverse communities within Britain, remembrance and commemoration, and identity and faith.

 Gateways to the First World War

 – The aim of the Gateways team is to encourage and support public interest in the centenary of the First World War through a range of events and activities such as open days and study days, advice on access to materials and expertise, and signposting for other resources and forms of support. The Centre is managed by the University of Kent in partnership with the Universities of Brighton, Greenwich, Portsmouth, Leeds and Queen Mary, London. It also has close links with organisations such as the Imperial War Museum, National Maritime Museum and the War Memorials Trust. Gateways can help you to explore a range of specialist themes including maritime and naval history, operational and military history, life on the home and fighting fronts, wartime propaganda, and the medical history of the First World War.



 – The Living Legacies Engagement Centre is a UK-wide research collaboration between Queen’s University Belfast, University of Ulster, Newcastle University, Goldsmiths, University of London, National Library of Wales and National Museums Northern Ireland. The Centre is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) until December 2016.

The Centre is based at the Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/InstituteforCollaborativeResearchintheHumanities/

At its core is a group of academics from different UK universities all researching the enduring legacies of the First World War and whose shared expertise has potential to help community-led projects achieve greater levels of impact, outreach and engagement beyond their immediate localities.

The Centre’s researchers are interested in partnering with community-based networks and projects to explore, interpret and record the ‘living legacies’ of the First World War. In particular, we are interested in helping communities across the UK to:
• tell their stories and share these stories with others;
• rediscover the forgotten First World War heritage in our landscapes;
• find out why and where people moved as a result of the war;
• express stories about the conflict through drama and theatre.



 – Voices of War and Peace: the Great War and its Legacy is a First World War Engagement Centre funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council and in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund. The University of Birmingham Centre is a joint initiative across the Midlands with Birmingham City University, Newman University, the University of Wolverhampton and the University of Worcester, and further afield with Cardiff University, University of Durham, University of Glasgow, Manchester Metropolitan University and Cardiff University.

The Engagement Centre is based in the Library of Birmingham and supports a wide range of community engagement activities, connecting academic and public histories of the First World War as part of the commemoration of the War’s centenary.

The Centre covers a broad range of relevant research knowledge that enables it to respond to diverse community interests. This research knowledge ranges from the history of Birmingham, the Black Country and urban and rural Worcestershire to the impact of air power, from the experiences of Belgian refugees to trench warfare, from Quakers and humanitarian relief to battlefield archaeology, and from caring for the casualties of war to the involvement of colonial troops and labour.

Voices of War and Peace: the Great War and its Legacy offers research support and guidance for community groups around the First World War in general and in particular around the following themes:

Belief and the Great War
Cities at War
Gender and the Home Front