Interviews with veterans, recordings of music from the First World War, documentaries and reports, recorded on videos, cassettes, CDs, DVDs and other media, make up the audiovisual collection.
The extensive photo library contains both prints and (glass) negatives of individual photographs, coherent series, personal albums of Belgian, British, French and German soldiers, rare panoramic photographs and shadow collections.
The museum owns about 450 text posters and about 300 ordinary posters. From 2013 onwards, this collection formed an important pillar of the overall project Met de rug tegen de muur (Backed against the wall).
The collection of paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures by war and front artists grows every year through donations and purchases: Bastien, Langaskens, Yoors, Lauwers, Huys, Allard l'Olivier, Maertens, Leonard, Van Sassenbrouck, Ingels, Pickery, Lagae, Vereycken, ...
The impressive library of Dr. Caenepeel was purchased by the city of Ypres in 1988. This collection consists of about 1500 books, mainly regimental histories.
The collection of the In Flanders Fields Museum is rich, unique and varied. It contains objects, books, photographs, front cards, newspapers, magazines, scores, documentation folders, memorabilia, ego documents, posters, audiovisual material and shadow archives from or about the First World War or related subjects.
The List of Names is probably the most intangible collection. But collecting the names of victims of the First World War, and the story of their lives and deaths are indispensable to the operation of the museum.
With provincial support, the militaria collection of the former museum "Hill 60" was purchased in 2008 and shared with the Memorial Museum Passchendaele. A large part of the approximately 1600 objects can be seen in the permanent display.
The collection of (ego)documents is growing every week, mainly through donations. Portraits give a face, and letters and diaries a voice to hundreds of historical characters. The collection of documented personal stories is anything but a closed collection.
The museum purchases books and magazines, both new publications and second-hand copies. When research results in a publication, we ask the author to donate a copy of his/her book or article to the library of the Research Centre.
The very extensive newspaper and magazine collection, about 25,000 issues, dates from 1914-1918 and the interwar period and has a very international character.
Food aid from America in the form of sacks of flour was sent to Belgium. The empty sacks were processed by Belgian women and children into true works of art. The museum owns a unique collection of 18 processed flour sacks, some of which are on the masterpiece list.
Important and unique is the extensive collection of topographic maps indicating trenches and other strategic points. Reproductions of all maps have been made and are available for research in the Research Centre.
In the museum a collection of 20,000 historical aerial photographs can be consulted. These aerial photographs cover the entire front zone of the First World War and large parts of the rear areas.
Rose Coombs bequeathed a substantial part of her books to the city of Ypres by will. The Coombs collection contains approximately 1500 books including general histories, scientific studies, reference works, travel guides and collections of poetry.
The extensive collection of trench art includes, among other things, some 60 shell casings worked by the Chinese. This collection of Chinese trench art from the First World War is the largest in the world in public ownership.
Search the collections
Apply for reproductions
Digital copies of historical photographs or documents can be requested. Your request will be processed as soon as possible, and after receipt of your payment, the digital images will be sent.
Apply for loan
The museum lends and borrows collection pieces home and abroad for temporary exhibitions. A loan must be requested at least 6 months in advance. It is necessary to take out insurance.
An application contains a clear description of:
• the nature of the activity
• the location and dates of the activity
• the organisers of the activity
• the list of the requested items from the collection
Many families, organisations or institutions, at home and abroad, still preserve documents and objects related to the First World War and take the initiative to entrust them to the museum.
Do you have a diary, photos or medals of your grandfather? Did your great-aunt put down the memories of her escape from war? Was your great-grandfather a contractor during the reconstruction? Did your great uncle take home a piece from the ruins of St. Martin's Cathedral as a talisman? Do you still have a piece of trench art in the attic? And would you like to deposit these precious and precious memorabilia at the museum?
in the spotlight
During the First World War, Ida Decorte from Elverdinge (BE) fled with her family to Cambron near Abbeville (FR). In a neighbouring military hospital she offered her services as a nurse. The patients there spoilt her with cards and gifts. Maurice Vandecasteele, her fiancé from Poperinge, meanwhile served in the Belgian army. In that turbulent period the Decorte and Vandecasteele families maintained an extensive correspondence. Carolyn Vandecasteele, granddaughter of Maurice and Ida, donated hundreds of postcards, photos, documents and some special pieces of trench art from the estate of her grandparents.
Storage depot DEPOTYZE
The DEPOTYZE is the repository of all objects of the In Flanders Fields Museum that are not included in the permanent exhibition. The reserves of the Yper Museum and the Mergelynck Museum are also kept there, and are available for temporary exhibitions, loans and research.