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The York Army Museum, like other military museums, contains in its collections a range of objects that may appear, at first glance, randomly eclectic: not just the usual medals and uniforms and regimental trophies, but inkwells made from the hooves of a horse that charged at the Battle of Balaklava, a mounted moose head, a bullet-damaged cigarette case from World War I, and a fragment of silk from the curtains of Napoleon’s camp bed (with coffee stain).
Join us for a workshop event, led by museum staff and University of York historians, to explore what such objects and the stories woven around them can tell us about the memory culture of military organisations. The workshop will also examine the role of museums in curating and interpreting that culture.
The event will include opportunities to examine and discuss specific objects from the York Army Museum’s collections, and to explore the Museum’s current displays.
Dr Geoff Cubitt, Dr Catriona Kennedy and Dr Jasper Heinzen are members of the History Department at the University of York. Between them they have strong interests in the social and cultural history of war and the military, in the study of commemorative cultures, in museums, and in how societies engage with their pasts. Geoff is a recent Director of the University’s Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past (IPUP), and Catriona is currently Director of its Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies (CECS). The three of them together are currently developing a project on ‘Military Memories: Regiments, Museums and Society’, working with UK regimental museums. Allison Freeman is Activities Officer of the York Army Museum.