The National WWI Museum and Memorial is undergoing major updates. You will notice some changes over the next year, including the temporary closure of the Lower Level and the Edward Jones Research Center, with a planned reopening of an expanded research and collections space in early 2023.
Museum Access Updates
May 31, 2022
Lower Level and Edward Jones Research Center closed to the public. Available options for researchers
June 6, 2022
The west elevator restricted from the Lower Level and Main Level. This means that Exhibit Hall, and special exhibition Empires at War: Austria and Russia, can only be accessed from Memorial Courtyard. Guests may enter Exhibit Hall up several steps and through the front doors, or through the Courtyard elevator.
What's the plan?
The goal at this stage is to create a dedicated open storage and learning space on the Lower Level of the Museum and Memorial – opening up the Museum collection for the public to see behind-the-scenes of Museum staff at work.
With approximately 4,000 square feet of storage and a 190-foot ‘coast-line’ of cases, this space will also allow the Museum and Memorial to display objects and artifacts otherwise unavailable to visitors and create additional spaces for small groups and students to learn about the collection and the enduring impact of World War I.
The Museum and Memorial will also be constructing a new staircase from the Main Level that will enable visitors to access the updated collections and research area more easily. Access to the west elevator from the Main Level will be blocked during this time, but the east elevator will still be accessible, and volunteers and staff are available to help direct guests through the Museum.
The initiative supports the Museum and Memorial’s multi-year strategic plan and provides critical updates that will allow the Museum and Memorial to continue to grow both its collection and its visitorship.
What does the Lower Level closing mean for researchers?
During the construction period, the Edward Jones Research Center on the Lower Level will be closed to the public, but there are a number of ways for you to still conduct your research:
Computer stations on the Main Level access multiple databases including Fold3.com, Ancestry.com, the Museum and Memorial’s online collections database, the American Battlefield Monuments Commission and the National Archives.
Research using the Museum and Memorial’s online resources from anywhere. Explore the Online Collections Database, the directory of WWI Military Service Records or explore more of our online resources.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 816.888.8142 during operating hours to contact Research Center staff directly.
How does this impact exhibitions?
Ellis Gallery will be closed while the Lower Level is closed.
The West Lobby Gallery will be closed while the west end of the Main Level is blocked off for construction.
Exhibit Hall (and the current exhibition, Empires at War: Austria and Russia) will be open throughout construction.