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.
Benefits for Network Members
- Access to free downloadable resources, guides, research and assets from IWM collections
- Connect with others to share best practice – read case studies and browse our network directory.
- Attend a range of online events, that promote collaboration and professional development
- Receive monthly e-newsletters, including opportunities to promote your activity
- Exclusive partnership opportunities, including the Connecting, Sharing, Learning project and IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund
© 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.
© 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.
Latest Blog Posts
22/02/24 PartnershipsReflections 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 PartnershipsRemembering 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 PartnershipsAqaba, 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 PartnershipsEngaging 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 PartnershipsConscription 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 PartnershipsFinding 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 PartnershipsBehind 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 PartnershipsReflections 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 PartnershipsCelebrating 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.