The collection and archives of volunteer-run Otley Museum and Archive Trust had much material about the First World War that had never been in the public domain before. Thirty-one volunteers helped search this archive and others to tell the stories of individual local men and their families and create a digital map which showed the family address of every person on the town’s war memorials. The archive material was also used to reveal themes such as service and loss, the Home Front and support for Belgian refugees. Regular publicity through media, leaflets and mini displays provided a spark for local people to share their own stories which were then added to the museum’s collection.
The volunteers displayed the research and shared their learning through an exhibition, booklet and website, all resulting in further stories and donations.
Meryl Auty, Director of the Museum Trust, said, “We previously helped the church do a small exhibition around their war memorial. It was so popular we were asked to do more so we picked out various new themes we could explore.”
For more information visit the Legacies of War – Untold Otley Stories website.