IWM's unparalleled and unique collections stretch from the everyday to the exceptional and contain some of the most important technical, social, economic, political, personal and cultural artefacts relating to Britain and its role in conflict since the First World War.
Our collections are managed by time period. Each covers the scale, depth, breadth and range of media – art, film, photographs, sound, documents and objects , and illustrate the reactions, memories and stories of the whole of society.
First World War and Early Twentieth Century: 1900 to 1929
IWM's First World War collections include some of the first objects collected by IWM. They highlight the role of individuals in the effort made by Britain and its empire during the first modern global war.
IWM (B 5218)
Second World War and Mid-Twentieth Century: 1929 to 1949
IWM's Second World War collections explore many facets of the global events that made up the tumultuous period at the middle of the twentieth century.
© IWM (CT 1493)
Cold War and Late Twentieth Century: 1949 to 2000
IWM's Cold War collections illuminate the Cold War itself as well as conflicts associated with new nations forging their independence, and post-Cold War violence motivated by ethnic, national and religious tensions.
© IWM (DC 2556)
Contemporary Conflicts: 2001 to date
IWM's Contemporary Conflict collections explore armed conflicts significant to the UK since 2001. They illustrate conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Ukraine as well as the human impact of significant terrorist attacks like September 11 and the London Bombings.
© IWM D 22110
Library Collections: 1914 to date
IWM's library collections include books, journals, pamphlets and printed material which provide context about the conflicts we cover. The library collections span all nations involved in war and conflict since 1914, with a particular focus on social, economic, political, literary, artistic, and military history.