Our documents cover a wealth of personal experience and testimony, both British and foreign, as well official records.

Private Papers

IWM holds almost 18,000 individual collections of important private papers, principally comprising unpublished diaries, letters and memoirs written primarily by British and Commonwealth servicemen since 1914 and by civilians during the two world wars. We also hold documents from victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

Foreign and Related Documents

We also look after a large collection of foreign documents, including the official British records of the major war crimes trials conducted at Nuremberg and Tokyo, together with related documents from the Second World War which mainly concern the German and Japanese war efforts.

Foreign Documents Factsheet

Miscellaneous Documents Factsheet

War Memorials Archive

An online database can be searched at, providing details of over 60,000 war memorials in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. The Archive records memorials to all wars and includes memorials to civilians and animals. It also includes memorials to those who died in service as a result of accident or disease.

Museum Archive

The Museum Archive is responsible for IWM’s own administrative records, which date back to our foundation in 1917.

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