Our documents cover a wealth of personal experience and testimony, both British and foreign, as well official records.
IWM holds almost 18,000 individual collections of important private papers, principally comprising unpublished diaries, letters and memoirs written primarily by British and Commonwealth servicemen since 1914 and by civilians during the two world wars.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.
War Memorials Archive
An archive holding details of war memorials in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man, IWM’s War Memorials Archive (formerly UK National Inventory of War Memorials) has information about over 60,000 war memorials, including their location, type, history and the names commemorated on them. 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.
An online database can be searched at www.iwm.org.uk/warmemorials. The research files, photographs and postcard collections can also be viewed by appointment Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10.00am – 4.00pm.
To make an appointment please phone +44 (0) 20 7207 9863/9851 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please check the online war memorials database at www.iwm.org.uk/warmemorials for the reference numbers of the records that you would like to view, as these will need to be taken out in advance of your visit.
The Museum Archive is responsible for IWM’s own administrative records, which date back to our foundation in 1917.