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. You can search our holdings through Collections Search before you arrive, to make sure you get the most from your planned visit.

Should you wish to visit us in order to consult in more depth one or more items from the collection, we offer the following services.

Library, documents, sound and records on the history of IWM

To access our documents and sound archive, library, digital resources and IWM administrative records, please make an appointment for the Research Room at IWM London (advanced booking is essential).

Opening hours:
Monday to Thursday (closed Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays).
Two bookable sessions a day: 10.00am-1.00pm, and 2.00pm-5.00pm (closed 1.00pm-2.00pm for lunch).

Use our Online Form to book your research sessions and request the material you wish to view. 
Our Online Catalogue will enable you to identify the material you would like to see.

Please order material at least FIVE FULL WORKING DAYS in advance of your planned visit otherwise we will be unable to supply material for you to view.

Ordering material in advance
After April 2018 we will no longer be able to offer on-the-day ordering of material, and all research material must be ordered in advance.  All of our paper-based collections are being moved from IWM London to IWM Duxford, where they will be housed in a planned state-of the-art paper store. The new store will guarantee the long-term preservation of these collections and thereby ensure that we can make them available to future generations of researchers. 

Photographs

For photographs, use our Collections Search to find the items you would like to see in the Visitors' Room at IWM London's All Saints Annexe. Then email photoadmin@iwm.org.uk to book an appointment. The Photograph Visitor Room is in the All Saints Annexe at Austral Street, London SE11 4SJ, five minutes' walk from IWM London - download a map here.

Opening hours:
Monday and Friday 10am-5pm
(Closed on Bank Holidays)

Works of art

We are transforming our research and access offer, which means that at present we are unable to accommodate requests to view artworks and posters in store. It is our ambition to facilitate access in the near future and we will review this over the course of 2018.

You can still access information on our art collection online, where you will find images of most of the posters in the collection.

Film

IWM's film collection covers social, political and military aspects of conflicts.

For commercial film researchers, we have a team of experienced specialist curators who can offer assistance. You can contact them at filmcommercial@iwm.org.uk Monday - Friday: 10am-5pm (closed on Bank Holidays).

They can provide advice on the IWM film collections including researching online, researching film material that is not yet listed online, viewing appointments, ordering time-coded DVD screeners, licence fees and the supply of broadcast format copies.

For museums, armed forces, veterans and their immediate family, students, family history researchers and filmmakers involved with the IWM Short Film Festival, we can offer a limited bespoke viewing and copying service. For details of these services and advice on accessing the IWM film collection for such purposes, please contact film@iwm.org.uk. Their hours of business are the same for those of the commercial film team.

If you already have an appointment to view film IWM London's All Saints Annexe, you can download a map with its location here.

Objects

IWM's collection of three-dimensional objects includes uniforms and equipment, weapons and ammunition, orders, medals and decorations, flags, insignia and ephemera. If you would like to view any of this material please book an appointment by e-mailing objects@iwm.org.uk at least two weeks before your proposed visit. Please note that much of this material is held at IWM Duxford and has to be viewed there.

Explore History

Explore History is a drop-in work space at IWM London, with a selection of books and resources about war and conflict from the First World War to the present day. You do not need to make an appointment to visit and use this space. Our staff are on hand to give you guidance on your area of research. They can also help you search the IWM collection through our online catalogue and access a variety of websites and e-resources.

Opening hours:
Monday - Friday 11am-1pm, 2pm-4pm (closed on Bank Holidays)