The IWM Library is responsible for a unique national reference library, with over 150,000 items on twentieth and twenty-first century conflict involving British and Commonwealth countries.

Along with material on military units and campaign histories, we have biographies, manuals, items relating to the economic, social and cultural aspects of war, journals, newspapers, ephemera, propaganda and e-resources. As well as developing and managing the collection of printed, published and digital material, we make it available for research in the Research Room at Lambeth Road.

Research Room

The IWM Archive and Research Room is located on the 2nd floor of IWM London in Lambeth Road. Before you plan your visit please see our Getting Here page.

We provide access to a treasure trove of original documents, sound recordings, photographs, and the Museum archive records charting the causes, course and consequences of war and conflict in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in Britain and the Commonwealth, and illustrating the personal experiences and stories of those caught up in conflict.

Opening times

The Archive and Research Room is open three days a week to nine researchers who can order up to 10 items at a time per day.

We are keeping opening arrangements under constant review and will be making further changes as the current situation evolves.

Open Close


10 am 4 pm


10 am 4 pm


10 am 4 pm

Plan your visit

  • Book your appointment and request materials

    Book your appointment and place your request for material at least seven days in advance of your planned visit.

  • Read the guidelines and FAQs

    We have prepared a detailed guide to visits to the IWM Archive and Research Room and a set of Frequently Asked Questions while social distancing measures are in place. Please read them ahead of your visit.

Regrettably we are unable to accept group bookings at this time. Bookings to see the War Artists’ Archive (microfilm) are now possible.

If you need further assistance, please do e-mail us at [email protected].

Digital Access to IWM Collections

The Falkland Conflict: A soldier of 3 Battalion, Parachute Regiment silhouetted against the sunset at Windy Gap.© IWM FKD 2750
The Falkland Conflict: A soldier of 3 Battalion, Parachute Regiment silhouetted against the sunset at Windy Gap. © IWM FKD 2750

Digital Access to IWM Collections

Before booking a visit to the Archive and Research Room, you are encouraged to visit Collections Online, as many items have been digitised and can be viewed online rather than in person.

Collections Online provides details about items that can be of use to your research.

Watch our video guides and tips about how to search Collections Online


Collections online

Explore around 800,000 items that tell the story of modern war and conflict, collected by the museum since 1917.
Cameramen in uniform: Sergeant Mike Lewis of the Army Film Unit posing with a De Vry, the camera most widely used by British combat cameramen.
© IWM BU 8352
IWM London

Film research

For commercial film researchers, we have a team of experienced specialist curators who can offer assistance.
© UN610A


Research is a central pillar of the IWM Institute.