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Educational Design and Engagement

Educational Design and Engagement

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Press Release

Public event aims to preserve Second World War memories 

The University of Edinburgh is inviting people to bring stories and objects relating to the Second World War to a Digital Collection Day at Rainy Hall, New College on 25th November 2023, from 10am to 4pm.   


The University of Edinburgh is excited to partner with Their Finest Hour, a nationwide project lead by the University of Oxford and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which is collecting and preserving the everyday stories and objects of the Second World War. 


This event is part of a nationwide campaign organised by Their Finest Hour, a project based at the University of Oxford and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which is collecting and preserving the everyday stories and objects of the Second World War. 


As these stories are fading fast from living memory, it is vital that they – and the wartime objects that often accompany them – are preserved for future generations. The project team is especially interested in collecting contributions from people from underrepresented backgrounds, in order to increase the diversity of Second World War heritage.    

At the Digital Collection Day, stories about your family’s wartime experience will be recorded via interview and associated objects, such as diaries, letters, medals, journals and ration books, will be photographed. Transcribed interviews and photographs of the objects will be digitised, and then uploaded to the Their Finest Hour online archive, which will be free-to-use and launched in June 2024.  


Dr Stuart Lee, project leader at the University of Oxford, said “we’re delighted to be able to create an archive of memories of the Second World War. We know from previous projects that people have so many wonderful objects, photos, and anecdotes which have been passed down from family members which are at risk of getting lost or being forgotten. Our aim is to empower local communities to digitally preserve these stories and objects before they are lost to posterity.” 


Dr Melissa Highton, Assistant Principal at the University of Edinburgh, said “I am delighted that the University of Edinburgh is hosting this community project to collect and preserve precious memories. I hope we will be able to find some of the stories, which might usually go untold, of the wide and diverse impact of the Second World War and ensure that the experience of Scots, and the people of Edinburgh, is archived and made available online.” 


If you have any questions about the event, please contact Lorna M. Campbell and Eden Swimer at For more information about the project, please visit the project website –  You can register for the University of Edinburgh’s Digital Collection Day on Eventbrite, and  follow the project’s progress on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Their Finest Hour blog. 


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