IWM has managed a Film Archive for over a century. From its very beginnings as an institution IWM understood the importance of film as primary source material and its extensive collection illustrates the causes, course and consequences of conflict from the First World War to the present day.

A remarkable resource for researchers and film-makers

Our constantly growing collection now extends to over 25,000 hours of moving images, representing a wide and diverse range of material from public and service information films, documentaries and unedited combat film, through to official newsreels and amateur films. Two substantial collections from NATO and the United Nations in the former Yugoslavia are also held.

An ongoing film digitisation programme provides free online access, with newly-digitised media added as soon as it becomes available.

Our Services

  • Specialist film curators

    IWM has a small team of specialist film curators with extensive experience working with commercial researchers.

  • IWM Film Website

    IWM also offers a website specially designed for the needs of commercial users IWM Film.

  • Non-commercial licences

    Contact us for advice on the supply and licensing of film material for non-commercial projects (i.e. personal use/academic/heritage organisation)

Find out more

A view of the card index kept at Leytonstone Public Library
IWM (D 22113)

Research Room

We provide access to a wide range of material in our Research Room including documents, printed material, photographs, sound recordings, IWM’s administrative records and e-resources. Booking is essential. 

Camerman war still Projected Picture Trust

Film Favourites from the Archives

Discover our Film Favourites series in which curators talk about their highlights from IWM's vast film collection. 

Room 60 in the Cabinet War Rooms. © IWM MH 531.
© IWM MH 531

Image and Film Licensing

IWM has a unique collection covering all aspects of twentieth and twenty-first century conflict involving Britain, the Commonwealth and other former Empire countries. Many of the materials from the IWM's image, sound and film collections are available to license from our licensing teams for a range of purposes including publishing, advertising and broadcast media.