The Lower Level of the National WWI Museum and Memorial will reopen to the public on Friday, May 19. Following a year of renovations, the Lower Level features the new Bergman Family Gallery and Open Storage Center – approximately 4,000 square feet of storage and a 190-foot “coastline” of window cases that allows the Museum and Memorial to display objects and artifacts otherwise unavailable to visitors. This is the most extensive renovation to the Museum and Memorial since its opening in 2006.
The Museum and Memorial began collected in 1920 shortly after the Armistice on Nov. 11, 1918. Today, it is the most comprehensive collection of WWI artifacts in the world and continues to grow as objects representing nations from across the world are added almost week. The collection boasts over 350,000 items and only a small percentage are on view for the public, making open storage a valuable way to share more with visitors.
The Lower Level also features an updated R.A. Long Learning Center, Ellis Gallery and Edward Jones Research Center, as well as additional spaces for small groups and students to learn about the collection and the impact of WWI. The feature exhibition in Ellis Gallery, Mail Call, also opens on Friday, May 19.