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Newcastle’s Lit & Phil library secures funding for First World War Centenary community project

Posted  23 July 2015 in News  
By Kate Clements
Workers at Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd shipbuilding yard, Wallsend, Newcastle during the First World War. © IWM (Q 20049)

Newcastle’s independent library, The Lit & Phil, has received £55,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a First World War commemorative project, ‘Reflections of Newcastle 1914-1918’.

A collaborative project, The Lit & Phil is working with Newcastle College, November Club and Northumbria University, researching archival material about Newcastle during the First World War. Guided by staff from partner organisations, the research will be used to create an e-book, to be launched in July 1916, alongside live elements and installations, 100 years after the start of the Battle of the Somme.

Lit & Phil volunteers and Northumbria University interns will undertake the research, exploring the impact of war on the intellectual, cultural and social life of Newcastle, with the Lit & Phil acting as the hub. November Club will take the research and using their own knowledge and resources, will develop a creative story, which in turn will be told digitally through the development of a multi-media e-book, freely available to download. The e-book will include at its heart an interactive city centre tour, beginning and ending at the Lit & Phil, to bring new audiences to the society and to the local history of the First World War.

The e-book will be developed by Newcastle College interns working closely with November Club. Throughout the project, volunteers and student interns will learn new research techniques, creative and digital skills as well as contributing to knowledge and understanding of the First World War in the north east of England. The eBook will be used to engage the broadest possible audience including volunteers, interns, veterans, and community and school groups in a new and exciting way, focussing on the changing life of Newcastle between 1914 and 1918.

Acting as the hub, The Lit & Phil will provide many of the volunteer researchers who will work alongside student interns. The project will allow the history of The Lit & Phil during the First World War to be thoroughly researched and creatively interpreted by November Club in the form of the eBook, alongside the live elements that will launched in July 2016.

Ivor Crowther, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North East, said:

“The legacy of the First World War is far reaching and there are thousands of stories being uncovered across the North East and further afield. Thanks to money raised my National Lottery players, this inspiring project will bring local people together to help reveal the history of Newcastle during the First World War.”

Visit The Lit & Phil website and blog for further information about the project and volunteering.

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