Since its foundation in 1917 IWM has been building its collections in order to illustrate and record all aspects of conflict in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We want our collections to continue to engage, challenge and remain relevant to our audiences, and we need to safeguard it for future generations.

These pages provide information on how we care for and add to our collections. They also detail the research we are undertaking into the collections to develop our knowledge and expertise to enrich our exhibitions and other public programmes.

How we care for our collections

  • Collections review

    We have been collecting for almost 100 years. In summer 2010 IWM began a five-year Collections Review to assess all its holdings and make strategic plans to develop the Collection.

  • Offer material to the collection

    Donated objects are recorded, preserved and cared for to the highest standards.

  • Conservation

    The effective care of collections is central to the work of IWM.

  • Museum administrative records

    The museum archive manages IWM’s own administrative records, which date back to its foundation in 1917.

  • Loans

    IWM lends material from its exceptional collections to museums across the UK and abroad.

  • Digitisation

    IWM's ongoing digitisation programme