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Online Exhibition Brings To Life The Great War

DATE 13 November 2008
RELEASE DATE 13 November 2008

Online Exhibition Brings To Life The Great War

The pathos of war is brought to life through the sights and sounds of World War One captured in Archives New Zealand’s new online exhibition, An Impressive Silence.

An Impressive Silence was launched online to coincide with the 11 November opening of a physical exhibition of the same name at the Archives New Zealand Wellington office. Both exhibitions commemorate 90 years since the Armistice was signed to end World War One.

An innovative feature of the online gallery is an interactive timeline plotting the exhibition’s visual and audio material and linking this back to the archives on which they were created.

Both exhibitions contain a number of documents and artefacts that have never been shared with the public before, or have not been seen for many years.

Archives New Zealand’s Chief Executive and Chief Archivist, Dianne Macaskill says, “An Impressive Silence – Public Memory and Personal Experience of the Great War, gives voice to New Zealand’s World War One experience and memory through the official and unofficial representations of the war and coming home.

“Authentic archive documents, including newspapers and posters of the day, artefacts and photographs feature on the site, and lead visitors through the experience of those who came home from World War One and the memory of those who didn’t.”

The name of the exhibition is derived from the Memoirs of Marshal Ferdinand Foch (Supreme Commander, Allied Forces, 1918) who said: On November 11th at 11.00am firing ceased along the whole front of the Allied armies. An impressive silence followed upon fifty-three months of battle. The nations could now look forward to seeing a world once more restored to peace.

To visit this moving exhibition, go to: http://exhibitions.archives.govt.nz/AnImpressiveSilence/.

An Impressive Silence is part of Coming Home Te Hokinga Mai, an official programme of government events to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Armistice Day.

Archives New Zealand has also contributed to the wider programme of events commemorating Armistice; including supplying film footage and pictures from the National Collection of War Art for the Memory Maker online editor hosted by the Auckland War Memorial Museum website.

Visitors to Memory Maker can craft their own expression of what Coming Home means to them by using a special video mixing tool. Memory Maker can be viewed at http://remix.digitalnz.org.

The Memory Maker project is part of the National Digital Forum’s Digital New Zealand initiative.


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