Hollad House Library, 1940. Three men inspect the book shelves in a bomb damaged hall.
© IWM (HU 131632)

Jane McArthur began an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award, entitled ‘The Scars of War: Ruin, memory and loss in photographs of World War II London’, in September 2013. The partnership is between IWM London and the University of Edinburgh. The photograph understood as an object, as a site of intensity is the locus from which research and thinking both extends and is contextualised. An enquiry concerning ruination, memory and traumatic loss is undertaken in relation to the destruction of home and the lived experience in London during the Second World War as understood from photographs in the Ministry of Information (MOI) Press & Censorship Bureau Photograph Library, located in the Imperial War Museum (IWM) Photograph Archive. This collection forms the core of intensive research which is supported by oral history interviews, period maps and investigations of traces of bomb damage within a mile radius of the Imperial War Museum, London. Integral to and as an expression of study is the practical manifestation of modes of presenting visual and cultural research both to the public and in an academic context.