We are open for business

We are continuing to run a licensing service but our staff are working remotely. Please contact us via email and we will get back to you as soon as possible, making every effort to get the collection items you need. Every licence supports the Imperial War Museums.

Cecil Beaton Second World War Photography Black and White

If your question regarding archive licensing is not answered below, please contact one of our teams: 

Image and sound: 

Email: imagesales@iwm.org.uk


Email: filmcommercial@iwm.org.uk

Frequently Asked Questions
Searching for Media

Before completing the form you will need to identify the items you would like to order and locate the IWM catalogue number for each one. You can search for images and sound files by using our Collections Search. A useful tip to search is ‘less is more’. If you put in keywords that relate to the subject you are searching for, rather than whole sentences, you are likely to receive more results. You can also use the filter options available below the search box. Click on the record to see full details of the item, including the IWM catalogue number.



We offer three sizes of high-resolution (300dpi) image files:
A5 tiff (approx. 900KB)
A4 tiff (approx. 3.5MB)
A3 tiff (approx. 20MB)

Standard digital files are suitable for general use. A copy is created from our master archive image, cropped to remove rebate and sized. Digitally restored files are available on request at an additional cost. Learn more about the range and quality of digital files we offer here.


Sound files can also be ordered in a range of formats:
.WAV files (CD quality) recorded at 16-bit 44.1KHz
.MP3 files are recorded at 16-bit 192Kbps. These files are digitally compressed to around one tenth the size of the equivalent .WAV file, so are quicker to download, but have somewhat reduced fidelity (not usually problematic with spoken material)
Audio CD (playable on a standard CD player)
Data CD (not normally playable on a standard CD player, but can usually be read by a computer)


Digital Image Orders:

  • All orders during the period of remote working will be dependent on resources and could take several days, so please check with the team for estimated delivery time.
  • We are not offering a new digitisation, photography or bespoke print service until further notice

In some cases we will be able to deliver images immediately on acceptance of the quote, so if you need an image urgently please contact us for details of which images are available instantly.

Prints will be subject to additional postage costs dependent on location of recipient.

Digital Sound Orders:

Sound files will be delivered within 10 working days.
If a file requires new digitisation delivery may take longer.

Licence Types and Policies