Launched in October 2017 following the success of an enormously popular crowdfunding campaign, Lest We Forget was an Oxford University-led project that aimed to capture the memories and stories of the First World War before they were lost to history.
Working in conjunction with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Lest We Forget team helped local communities organise and run their own Community Collection Days, where members of the public brought along war-related stories, memories, photographs, diaries, letters and other mementos to be 'digitised' and uploaded to the Lest We Forget Online Archive.
Over the course of the project:
- 437 volunteers were trained to organise Community Collection Days
- 38 Community Collection Days were held in schools, community centres, libraries and Universities all over the United Kingdom
- 897 contributors attended a Community Collection Day
- 13,949 photographs of First World War artefacts were taken
- 886 stories and 10,824 photographs were uploaded to the online archive
The contents of the archive were made freely accessible on 11th November 2018 to complement projects and events commemorating the centenary of the end of the war. The contents of the archive can be accessed here and on Europeana 1914-1918, bringing these stories and experiences from the past to researchers and educators today.
Lest We Forget is the third crowdfunding campaign on OxReach, which helps Oxford academics find funding to support projects with societal impact.
Dr Stuart Lee, Project Leader and Lecturer, Reader in e-Learning and Digital Libraries and Deputy CIO (IT Services).
Dr Nancy Martin, Research Coordinator (2017-18).
Dr Matthew Kidd, Research Coordinator (2018-19).
Alun Edwards, Comms and Engagement Lead for IT Services.
Dr Ylva Berglund-Prytz, Senior Research Officer for IT Services.