Living Legacies 1914 – 1918
Living Legacies connects academic and community researchers interested in how the First World War lives-on in the 21st century world.
Living Legacies is based in Northern Ireland – a place where the past is very relevant to the present day. In the whole of Ireland, the First World War had a complex impact and longstanding effects. It is still in evidence today, shown by the enduring legacies of the conflict in the histories and identities of Ireland’s populations and its politics and places.
The centre seeks to enhance the understanding of the cultural politics of conflict commemoration and how they shape trans-national identities. They think that these subjects have contemporary relevance not just for Northern Ireland but for other parts of the UK and Europe and the rest of the world.
Its key areas of expertise reflect the centre’s approach to history as heritage:
- moving lives – why and where people moved as a result of the war
- performing arts – expressing stories about the war through drama and theatre
- material cultures and archaeology – rediscovering the forgotten First World War heritage in our landscapes
- digital technologies and digitisation – working with digital technologies to understand the past
- museums and exhibitions – telling stories about the war and sharing these stories with others.
How Living Legacies can work with you
Living Legacies strives towards a stronger shared understanding of the First World War and its legacies. The centre aims to bring disparate communities together by linking projects that share a common interest in the war’s continued presence in our lives and memories. Living Legacies believes that documenting these modern-day community engagements with First World War heritage is as important as researching the war itself. Using both activities, we can begin to move from a past conflict to a shared future.
Living Legacies are interested in partnering with community-based networks and projects to explore, interpret and record the ‘living legacies’ of the First World War. In particular, they are interested in helping communities across the UK to:
- tell their stories and share these stories with others
- rediscover the forgotten First World War heritage in our landscapes
- find out why and where people moved as a result of the war
- express stories about the conflict through drama and theatre.
If your community group or project has an interest in one or more of these areas, please get in touch.
Through events and activities, Living Legacies offers practical support for community researchers, providing training in specialist areas such as digitisation, object identification and conservation as well as access to expertise and resources.
Programme of events
Living Legacies produces open events, workshops and talks related to the centre’s themes. Events are held in Northern Ireland and the other regions where their researchers are based.
Under the Material Cultures and Archaeology theme, they have been working alongside the Northern Ireland Environment Agency to run a community excavation at Grey Point Fort, a Defence Heritage site on the coast of North Down. Over two open days, they welcomed more than 500 visitors to participate in the dig.
We look forward to supporting many more of these activities which use this period of commemoration as an opportunity to explore and conserve the legacy of the war.
Keep in touch with Living Legacies
Living Legacies is based at Queen’s University Belfast and their network includes academics at the University of Ulster and National Museums Northern Ireland. Beyond Northern Ireland, they have strong links with academic research expertise in Wales, the north-east of England and London.
‘The Living Legacies 1914-18 Engagement Centre is a focal point for connecting academic and community researchers interested in how the First World War lives on in the twenty-first century world. Based at Queen’s University Belfast, the Centre is working with community-based networks and projects to explore, interpret and record the ‘living legacies’ of the First World War, through rediscovering the forgotten First World War heritage in our localities and landscapes throughout the United Kingdom’. Keith Lilley (FRHistS) is Director of the Living Legacies 1914-18 Engagement Centre. With particular expertise in aspects of historical mapping and the interpretation of heritage landscapes using digital technologies, he is also Chair of the Historic Towns Trust and Reader in Historical Geography at Queen’s University Belfast.Keith Lilley