With over 900 members globally, the IWM War and Conflict Subject Specialist Network builds capacity, connections and confidence in the cultural heritage sector.

Network members look at a range of themes and subjects within the period of the First World War to the present day.

Our aim is to share and develop knowledge and skills amongst many diverse organisations and individuals across the UK and further afield.

Join for free today
Membership to the network is free and available for anyone working on not-for-profit activity relating to conflict since 1914

Benefits for Network Members

Neighbours chatting as normal despite the restrictions of their gas masks during a practice drill in Southend.

More Information

  • A teacher and her pupils enjoy a lesson in a basement at Greek Road School in South East London in 1941.
    © IWM (D 3161)

    Connecting, Sharing, Learning project

    Between July 2020 and June 2021, IWM’s War and Conflict Subject Specialist Network (WCSSN) led a project called Connecting, sharing, learning: sustaining relationships between collections and older communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Find out more

  • An abstract aerial view of a bombing raid on a city.
    © IWM Art.IWM ART LD 4526 Battle of Germany by Paul Nash

    IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund

    A national partnership programme of 22 artist commissions inspired by the heritage of conflict. Led by Imperial War Museums, the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund was created following the success of 14-18 NOW, the official UK arts programme for the First World War centenary. A total of £2.5 million has been made available to artists and cultural organisations across the UK, including several SSN members. 

    Find out more.

  • British and US navy crews shaking hands between ships.
    © IWM (A 730)

    About the SSN

    Read about what the SSN is, how we work and what we offer to members.

    Members Agreement

    Terms and Conditions of membership

    Frequently Asked Questions

     

Latest Blog Posts

  • 22/02/24 Partnerships
    Five works of art hang under purple hued light, with woman standing in front.
    Guest Author - Dr. Lee Karen Stow, Visual Artist & Researcher
    Reflections on Tomorrow

    In 2023, five women artists who survived war, conflict and persecution, came together as visual artists to present Tomorrow, a multi-media, studio exhibition. Developed as an IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund commission in partnership with the Freedom Festival, the exhibition is an individual and collective response to the concept of ‘tomorrow’ as an enduring reference to hope, belief and self-determination and a way of looking to the future, together.

  • 02/02/24 Partnerships
    Row of seven white headstones
    Guest author: Dr. Bruce A. Tocher
    Remembering Operation Freshman: Norway, 1942

    In July 1942, the British War Cabinet decided to try to destroy the heavy water production facilities at the Norsk Hydro factory at Vemork, Norway - this was code-named Operation Freshman. Guest author Dr. Bruce A. Tocher shares his research into this operation, and efforts to trace descendants of those involved.

  • 02/02/24 Partnerships
    Pilot standing in front of aircraft
    Guest author: James P. Brew
    Aqaba, the Arab Revolt and Australia

    The Emir Feisal’s victory in taking Aqaba in July 1917 was of considerable strategic significance to the outcome of the First World War. The holding of Aqaba was, however, in the challenging days of 1917, not guaranteed. In this blog post, guest author James P. Brew shares his research into the role of Australian servicemen in this theatre of war.

  • 23/01/24 Partnerships
    Stitching into the printed map of Radom
    Guest author: Laura Nathan, contemporary textiles artist
    Engaging With Inherited Archives

    Laura Nathan is a contemporary textiles artist and through the support of an Arts Council England artist development grant (DYCP), she is currently exploring family archives surrounding her grandparents’ Holocaust narratives. In this blog post, Laura shares her reflections on the project.

  • 16/01/24 Partnerships
    a prisoner sitting at a desk, looking thoughtful
    Guest author: Dr Frances Hurd
    Conscription and reform of the British penal system

    When the British government introduced conscription in 1916, no-one anticipated that this would lead to large numbers of conscientious objectors (COs) being held in civilian prisons, much less that it would have significant consequences for prison reform. In this post, Dr Frances Hurd shares her research into this topic.

  • 21/12/23 Partnerships
    Projection of a man lying on a floor
    Charlotte Pearce, IWM Partnerships Manager
    Finding an artist for the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund

    In summer 2023, Imperial War Museums (IWM) worked with Art School Plus and The Brickworks Museum to offer an exciting commissioning opportunity to an early-career artist as part of the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund. The programme supports more than 20 cultural organisations from across the UK to commission ambitious new artworks inspired by the heritage of conflict, created by world-leading and emerging contemporary artists.

  • 20/12/23 Partnerships
    People walking around art exhibition
    Guest Author - Professor Derwin Gregory, Bishop Grosseteste University and Ed Kluz, Artist.
    Behind the Bastion

    When the UK Armed Forces deploy overseas, they operate out of static locations known as operational bases. Historically and through to present day, troops on deployment personalise these spaces through a range of ‘placemaking’ activities, including displaying photos, creating murals, building furniture, and erecting signposts. Behind the Bastion engaged with veterans of the Iraq War and War in Afghanistan, currently based in the Lincolnshire area, to reflect on what ‘home’ means to them today and what it meant whilst deployed.

  • 28/11/23 Partnerships
    Projection of First World War soldiers, November 2022
    Guest Author: Professor Helen Brooks, University of Kent
    Reflections on Walking with Ghosts

    This month, Walking with Ghosts returned to Folkestone Harbour Arm Station. The immersive outdoor artwork had a powerful impact on audiences last year when it premiered at the historic station where so many crossed to and from the battlefields during the First World War. In this blog post, Professor Helen Brooks from University of Kent reflects on the impact of this powerful commission, part of the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund programme.

  • 28/11/23 Partnerships
    A wall of black and white images of Second World War pilots
    Guest Author: Orla Kennelly, American Library
    Celebrating 60 years of the American Library

    2023 marks 60 years since the first Memorial Library dedicated to the 2nd Air Division of the 8TH Air Force of the United States Army Forces (USAAF) was opened in Norwich, Norfolk. Today the library retains the identity first envisaged for it – that of a living memorial, a place where there is a shrine to the dead and a daily exchange of American thoughts and ideals. In this blog post, Orla Kennelly of the American Library shares details on this unique memorial and library.