The Museum Archive

The Museum Archive manages IWM’s own administrative records, which date back to its foundation in 1917. Researchers may consult these records in the IWM London Research Room and can arrange to book a place either through the Museum Archive, Collections Enquiry Service or the Explore History Centre.

IWM's records cover all aspects of the work of IWM, including:

  • The development of IWM's Collections
  • The planning and design of exhibitions
  • The history of the IWM London's building at Lambeth Road
  • The acquisition of IWM’s four branches at IWM North, Churchill War Rooms, IWM Duxford and HMS Belfast
  • Press, publicity and publications, including past guidebooks
  • General policy, operation and activities

Read an outline history of IWM.

There is an ongoing programme of cataloguing. At present the following collections are available to search:

  • EN1: IWM central records from 1917-1939
  • EN2: IWM central records from 1939-1960
  • EN3: IWM central records from 1960-1969

Later material, including publicity material and IWM’s modern Exhibition Archive, is available on request. 

IWM's records are public records and are generally available for research. However, some records containing personal information may have access restrictions in line with the Data Protection Act. Other, more recent, material may be subject to exemptions outlined in the Freedom of Information Act.