19 January 2015: Lord Faulkner of Worcester asked Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have received about the future of the Imperial War Museum’s library and Explain History service.

Lord Faulkner of Worcester (Lab): I beg leave to declare an interest as chair of the All-Party Group on War Heritage.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con): My Lords, the Government have received a number of representations about the future of the Imperial War Museum’s library. The museum is considering changes to its library service provision and the future of the Explore History centre as part of its forward review. The department is in discussions with the museum about the review. The museum’s programme of digitisation of core collections is well in hand.

Lord Faulkner of Worcester: My Lords, I know that the Minister appreciates what a very special place the Imperial War Museum is and how anxious people are that it should not lose its worldwide reputation as the authority on conflict. That is why around 19,000 people have signed a petition asking that the proposed £4 million cuts be reconsidered. Can he give an assurance that scholars will continue to have access to the material in the library in the Imperial War Museum? Is there any hope that the walk-in centre can be retained for public access as well?
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