Browse our collections

An unnaturally bright sun blazes over a landscape with a river. There is an aircraft flying over the desert in the lower right of the composition.
Art.IWM ART 4623
Art and Design
IWM's exceptional Art collection is one of the most important representations of twentieth century British art in the world
Staple bound, feint ruled exercise book containing newspaper cuttings adhered to its pages
LBY K. 74101-1
Books and Publications
IWM holds a large collection of published material relating to twentieth and twenty-first-century conflict.
Second World War Air Raid Precautions gas mask card and three bus tickets bearing the war-time slogan 'Beat the paper hanger be a paper-saver'.
Documents.8848
Documents
Our documents cover a wealth of personal experience and testimony, both British and foreign, as well as official records.
Section of twisted and rusted steelwork from the collapsed World Trade Center, New York
EPH 10364.2
Exhibits
IWM cares for over 155,000 three-dimensional objects.
A cameraman of the RAFFPU poses, focussing a Bell & Howell Eyemo 35mm film camera with a telephoto lens.
© IWM CH 13069
Film
Our constantly growing collection now extends to over 23,000 hours of moving images.
View of St Pauls
Photographs
IWM holds approximately 11 million photographs covering the cause, course and consequences of modern conflict from the First World War to present day.
Sound Archive
The Sound Archive holds over 33,000 recordings relating to conflict since 1914. This consists of the largest oral history collection of its type in the world, with contributions from both service personnel and non-combatants as well as significant holdings of speeches, sound effects, broadcasts, poetry and music.
WOMEN'S ROYAL NAVAL SERVICE.
IWM A 10763
Museum Administrative Records
The museum archive manages IWM’s own administrative records, which date back to its foundation in 1917. They are public records and researchers may search some of the records online or book an appointment at the IWM London Research Room to consult these records.

Collections Guides

How to Access IWM Collections Online
Use our easy to follow guide to get the best out of searching our collections online. 
British soldiers and their families standing in front of a plane during the Berlin Blockade 1949
1st Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers arrive at RAF Gatow to relieve 1st Royal Norfolk Regiment in Berlin 1949 © IWM (BER 49-144-024)
Tracing your Family History
The extensive collections of the Imperial War Museums reflect people from all walks of life. This makes us a practical resource to help put the wartime experiences of your relatives into context. Our expert staff have put together these useful guides to help you start your research into your family history, explaining what records you will need and where to find them.
People reading books next to a bookshelf in the Explore History room
© IWM
Archive & Research Room
At Imperial War Museums, we aim to provide the widest possible access to our outstanding collection, be that printed material, documents, sound, film, photographs or works of art. 

Collections Projects

War Memorial at Kew
© IWM (Q 48872)
War Memorials Register
Search the War Memorials Register - a comprehensive national register of UK war memorials and the names of the individuals they commemorate.
A soldier in uniform walks away from the camera at Camp Bastion, the principal British base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan
A soldier at Camp Bastion, the principal British base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan (IWM DC 2556)
Contemporary Conflict Collection
Find out more about how IWM's Contemporary Conflict team develops our collections relating to the causes, course and consequences of conflicts since 2001.

Related Pages

The IWM Duxford Conservation Team removing wing bolts
IWM, Conservation in Action IWM Duxford
Collections care
Find out how IWM is safeguarding our collection for future generations.
Offer material to the collections
Donated objects are recorded, preserved and cared for to the highest standards. However, this comes at a high cost, forcing us to be selective about what we can now accept into our keeping.
Room 60 in the Cabinet War Rooms. © IWM MH 531.
Collection Sales and 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. 
Secondary Institute Page
No