Research is a major activity at IWM, and projects during the pilot period of the IWM Institute will include a number of unique partnerships and challenging themes, including the Holocaust, refugees and displacement, sexual violence as a weapon of war and the role of social media in conflict.

The Institute will explore these themes in partnership with world-renowned universities, including a project on the Holocaust with the University of Bristol; a major season on refugees and displacement with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and a project with King’s College London, exploring how social media propaganda contributes to the causes, course and consequences of today’s conflicts. A project with the London School of Economics and Political Science will look at sexual violence in conflict, a topic never-before-addressed by a UK national museum


Past projects

IWM has led and collaborated on a number of major research and digitisation projects over the past years.

Listening to the World: BBC Monitoring Collection AHRC Research Network, 2015-2016

In 2015 Imperial War Museums received a research networking grant of £32,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to examine the academic potential of the transcripts of the broadcasts monitored between 1939-1982 (the BBC Monitoring Collection).

Cultural Exchange in a Time of Global Conflict 2013-2016

In 2013, Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) awarded funding for a three year project led by Dr Santanu Das of Kings College London with IWM as an Associate Partner to investigate how the conflict created and shaped encounters between peoples and cultures from belligerent, colonised and politically neutral countries.

First World War Film Collection, 2013

For the centenary of the First World War, over 200 hours of IWM's First World War film collection was digitised and made freely available online, in collaboration with the European Film Gateway EFG1914 project.

Whose Remembrance? 2012-2013

Whose Remembrance? was IWM's first AHRC-supported research project. It sought to investigate the state of research into the experiences of the peoples of Britain's former empire in the two world wars, and the understanding and availability of this research to audiences and communities today.

Languages at War, 2009-2012

This project, led by the University of Reading, focused on three key research questions:

  • What are the official foreign language policies of government, military and multilateral agencies as they concern the case-study situations?
  • What are the foreign language experiences of those involved in these conflicts?
  • How do these experiences relate to the policy frameworks set?
Colonial Film Project, 2007-2010

A collaboration between two universities (Birkbeck College and University College London) and three film archives (IWM, the BFI, and the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum), this project sought to create a catalogue of moving pictures of the British Empire.

Posters of Conflict 2003-2006

This project, led by Manchester Metropolitan University, sought to digitally photograph and publish online around 10,000 posters from the Museum's internationally important collection.

For more information about research at IWM and any of these research areas, please contact