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Rare First World War Footage to be Screened at National Museum

11 December 2014

National Film and Sound Archive and National Museum enter new partnership

Rare footage featuring life on the home front in Australia during the First World War will be screened at the National Museum of Australia (NMA) in Canberra, as part of a new collaboration with the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA).

Under a new partnership deal focusing on the 2014-2018 First World War centenary period, the National Museum and NFSA will share expertise, collections and education and public programs.

In particular, the National Museum will provide opportunities for the NFSA’s rich collection of moving images and sound, to be screened to Museum audiences.

The first of these films is a series of video montages from 1913 that will be shown on the National Museum’s main hall video wall over the next six months, to illustrate life in Australia on the eve of the Great War and during the war years.

“Perhaps more than any other period in history the years 1914-1918 defined and shaped modern Australia. The National Museum hopes these films will help bring those stories to life,” said National Museum director, Mathew Trinca.

“This will be the first of many exciting collaborations between the National Museum and the NFSA over coming years. Both institutions bring their great collection strengths and wonderful expert staff to this venture,” said Dr Trinca.

NFSA chief executive, Michael Loebenstein said: “As Australia’s living archive we’re delighted to bring these defining moments in our nation’s history to the NMA’s screens, so that contemporary Australians can discover these stories.”

By jointly featuring their extensive individual collections and holdings, the NMA and the NFSA hope to take the story of Australia on the home front during the First World War, to even larger audiences.

 “The collaboration between the NFSA and the NMA will increase the exposure to these invaluable audiovisual materials from our national collection, and further solidify the Acton peninsula as an unmissable experience in the Canberra cultural landscape,” said Mr Loebenstein.

Historically significant developments on the home front between 1914 and 1918 included the recruitment drives of the early war years, the contribution of women’s groups, the growth of the Australian economy, the development of national government powers and the conscription referenda.

A staggering 60,000 Australians died during the Great War.

The National Museum will in April 2015 launch its First World War centenary exhibition, The Homefront: Australia During the First World War.

For more information please contact Tracy Sutherland, (02) 6208 5338 / 0438 620 710 or media@nma.gov.au