Library & Museum
One of the more poignant aspects of war is Trench Art, the subject of an exhibition at Freemasons' Hall, London
An exhibition depicting Trench Art - making items from the remains of war such as artillery shells - will take place between June and September at Freemasons' Hall in London.
It is appropriate that the venue should be Freemasons' Hall - the art deco building erected in honour of those who fell in the Great War 1914-1918.
Diane Clements, director of the Library and Museum of Freemasonry, commented: "The construction of art objects from the tools of destruction and the debris they create, have left us a unique range of objects from the Napoleonic wars to the present day.
"Although Trench Art is best known from the 1914-1918 War, the exhibition will include examples from the wars as early as the 16th century, and pieces from recent conflicts."
Trench Art is typically thought of as engraved artillery shell cases, letter openers made from shrapnel, and objects carved from stone, wood and bone, made to pass the time in trenches and prisoner of war camps.
But it also includes surprising objects made, for example, from the wreckage of cathedrals or even from a ship of the Spanish Armada. The exhibition puts forward the case that all wars and war zones have produced examples.
Every piece of Trench Art tells a story of the momentous experiences of its maker - whether front line soldier, prisoner of war, civilian or refugee. The exhibition will examine the diverse motivations behind the creation of the objects. These include remembrance and creating a sense of familiarity and trade.
Poignant souvenirs, which were bought by battlefield pilgrims, were then kept polished on mantelpieces - often for a lifetime. Practical objects were made in the struggle to survive and maintain a sense of identity in the chaos of mass war.
Saleable items were made by prisoners of war in the Napoleonic period and sold for food and clothing.
The exhibition is being organised by the Library and Museum of Freemasonry, working with Dr Nicholas Saunders of University College, London.
His academic work and ground-breaking publications have analysed these objects for the first time, and changed our understanding of what they mean.
The exhibition is open from 30 June to 19 September, Monday-Friday, from 11am to 5pm at Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2.
Archives on the Net
A catalogue of 1,700 pieces of historical correspondence is now available on the Internet on the free Access to Archives (A2A) searchable website at www.a2a.pro.gov.uk.
This is the first phase of the Library and Museum's lottery-funded project, and the web site is part of the National Archives Network. The original documents are at the Library and Museum. The letters include one dated 1792 from a Brecon correspondent to the Grand Secretary, requesting Grand Lodge to urgently consider relief to French clergy and others "now driven to this island for protection" due to the French Revolution.
Slovenian Masonic glass
Two pieces of Slovenian glass are presented by Derek Oliver to Library and Museum director Diane Clements. One piece marks the first visit to an English Lodge by the Grand Lodge of Slovenia in May 2002. Derek, an English Mason, is a member of Dialogus Lodge No.2 of Slovenia.
Web site created by Mark Griffin