Society Lecture, 20 November: Medals, Museums & the First World War – a case study from Leeds

Please note: this lecture will take place at 6pm at Swedenborg Hall, 20-21 Bloomsbury Way, London, WC1A 2TH

On 20th November the Society welcomes Lucy Moore, from Leeds to talk about medallic display in the commemoration of World War One.


Leeds Museums & Galleries is the UK’s largest local authority museum service. Planning for the delivery of the 1914-18 centenaries began in 2012 and in 2013 a Project Curator was appointed to work across all nine sites and across collections with a focus on public engagement. The medals as part of the wider numismatic collection is one of the strongest areas relating to the First World War that we have.

As part of our centenary activities we wanted to think about new ways we can engage people with our medal collection – inspiring people with the object as well as the story behind it. One of our largest projects was to create a new digital learning interactive enabling teachers and pupils to learn about both the medal and the awardee []. In creating playful and informative online experiences, people from across the world have engaged with our Leeds-based, in secure storage, medals collection.

Our programme also included conservation volunteers, displaying medals to illustrate the global reach of the war, using medals in outreach with communities and research into our Leeds-built medal press. This paper highlights how we’ve worked with medals both on and off-site to get people excited about the centenary of the First World War.

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