IWM is committed to respecting copyright and other intellectual property rights. We make every effort to protect IWM’s copyright and Crown Copyright as well as pay attention to copyright in any third party material, so that we can fully use and promote our assets and safeguard our collections to enrich people’s understanding of the causes, course and consequences of war.

We support and encourage public access to our collection by offering low resolution images or streamed sound and film recordings of works in the collections for reuse under a non-commercial licence on our website, where possible.



Imperial War Museums (IWM) is a global authority on conflict and its impact, from the First World War to the present day, in Britain, its former Empire and the Commonwealth.  Our collections are unique and constantly evolving and we try to exhibit them in as relevant a way as possible to contemporary audiences.

IWM is a Non Departmental Public Body (NDPB) sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and a recognised charity under the Charities Act 1993.  The museum is governed by a Board of Trustees and the day to day management of the Museum is undertaken by the Director-General who is accountable to the Board for implementing their approved objectives. 

IWM has Delegated Authority to handle Crown Copyright materials. In 2012, IWM became subject to the provisions of the Information Fair Traders Scheme (IFTS) administered by the National Archives. Under this scheme, IWM has certain obligations to fulfil regarding how it trades in Crown Copyright material which IWM has successfully applied to the management of and access to its public information.

In undertaking its collections management, research, public engagement and core support activities, IWM produces quantities of 'Documents', as defined under the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015, the supply of which falls within its 'Public Task'.

Statement of Public Task

IWM’s 'Public Task' under the Re-use of the Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 is based upon its functions under The Imperial War Museum Acts 1920 and 1955, relevant Statutory Instruments, the Museums and Galleries Act 1992, The Public Records Act 1958 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  It also includes commitments agreed by IWM with its sponsoring government department in its Management Agreement, the visions and objectives set out in the Corporate Plans agreed by the Board, and the provision of general advice relating to its core expertise to researchers and the general public.

IWM creates, holds and uses its 'Documents' for all the following purposes within its Public Task:

  • Provision of worldwide access to its collections, exhibitions and expertise: in the museum, on loan and through partnerships, in all and any media and formats or through innovative outreach and web-based programmes.
  • Production or commissioning of exhibitions, educational and research-based print and digital material which draws on the unique collections and historical expertise, either directly or through partnerships or through the IWM Trading Company Ltd (IWM’s wholly owned trading subsidiary).
  • Conservation, maintenance, development, safety and security of its assets, including the collections, estate, infrastructure and information.
  • Commissioning or production of books, films or other informative material, replicas, reproductions of objects or souvenirs relating to or relevant to IWM’s collections or theme through IWM, IWM Trading Company Limited, or via third parties commercially or non-commercially.
  • Licensing of information and other material relating to IWM’s collections, theme or souvenirs or other goods, at any time through IWM or through a third party for its commercial or non-commercial use.

IWM’s Public Task is incorporated in its corporate objectives which are to:

  • prioritise our audiences 
  • increase our financial sustainability
  • deliver effective stewardship of our collection

More information about the categories of documents available for re-use and terms on which they are available can be found in the sections below.

Other work we carry out under contract (eg for research purposes) through organisations paying for the hire of IWM's accumulated staff expertise and information is outside our public task. Information relating to products derived from public task activities for re-sale in the commercial market are outside our public task.

The IWM publication scheme can be found here

Questions and complaints about IWM’s Public Task statement should be submitted via this contact form

Date approved: 18 July 2015

This statement will be reviewed annually. Next review: July 2016

Use of IWM Material by Third Parties

IWM's websites are copyright of the Imperial War Museums (© IWM), whilst the copyright in the material which is hosted on IWM’s websites will belong to IWM as well as other third parties.

Material identified as copyright of IWM and copyright of other parties including the Crown, may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium under the terms of the IWM Non-Commercial Licence unless otherwise indicated. Please ensure you acknowledge the copyright status of the material and for images, the inclusion of the attribution statement stated in Collections Search.

Nothing in this agreement is intended to override your statutory rights and exceptions under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

If you want to use an image for non-commercial purposes not covered by the IWM Non-Commercial Licence, or need a higher-resolution image file, please contact the Collections Sales and Licensing team.

View the IWM Non-Commercial Licence, or download a PDF copy


Many of the materials from the IWM’s image, sound and film collections are available to purchase and license for use in commercial projects and products. Users identifying any material that they wish to reproduce on a commercial basis should contact the relevant Collections Sales and Licensing team.


Please contact us in the event that you are the owner of the copyright or related rights in any of the material on this website, or in a publication or broadcast to which IWM has provided material,

  • and you believe that the material may be subject to a third party ownership or another legal claim,
  • or you believe that use of this material infringes your intellectual property or any other rights.

We will withdraw the material from our website upon receipt of your written objection and our initial verification of your complaint, while the matter is investigated. Your objection will be acknowledged within seven working days of receipt.

In order to process your enquiry, please use this web form to provide us with information. The information you provide on the form will be used only in connection with this enquiry.

For any other copyright queries, please contact us on copyright@iwm.org.uk.


IWM welcomes links to its website from other websites providing the links do not imply endorsement of third party goods or services by IWM, imply affiliation with third parties where none exists, or otherwise mislead users.

Links from our website lead to other sites; IWM does not endorse or sponsor or otherwise approve of any information or images or further links to other sites that appear in those websites.


While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information and copyright of material on this website, any and all liability which might arise from your use of and reliance on the information contained on the website is excluded.


As a global authority on conflict and its impact on people’s lives, IWM wants to engage with people from all over the world. Our social media activity is focused on helping people to learn more about, and engage with, our family of five museums, our wider public programme and collections. We welcome discussion and debate, but please avoid posting any hateful, defamatory or harassing comments, images or video, or anything that could be deemed offensive to others. Such comments and posts will be removed.

Spamming, repeatedly sharing the same or very similar messages, or posts that are off-topic may also be removed.


All promotional pictures of children used within IWM's website, e-communications or printed materials have been taken with the permission of the parent or guardian. As part of the permission agreement, they have provided consent for their images to be used within IWM's promotional campaigns for up to four years. After this period the images will be archived or permission sought to extend the promotional agreement.