The Museum’s collection of images of war and conflict is composed of art work, posters and photographs.

The Museum currently holds nearly 11 million photographs, covering all aspects of modern conflict from the Crimean War to the present day.  It is a vital source for those interested in the history of war photography as well as the history of the era.

The Archive includes work by photographers of all nationalities and backgrounds. It is the national custodian for photographs taken by the Armed Forces as well as other government departments such as the former Ministry of Information.  It also holds substantial collections of work by amateur and professional photographers.  The photographs themselves are supplemented by original documents, books, and photographic equipment which help understand how and why these photographs were taken.

Access to the collection

The new Explore History Centre at Imperial War Museum London is the place to find out more about the collection and to discover the experiences of people during war and conflict through art, photographs, books and publications, sound recordings, film, military equipment and personal possessions.

It is possible to go there to:

  • Search the online collections
  • Browse the library collection, newspapers and digital resources
  • View art, photographs and film

Opening hours

  • Monday – Saturday, 10.00am – 5.00pm
  • Sunday 11.00am – 5.00pm

Research Room

Access to catalogue resources, including digitised sound, film, photos and art.

By appointment only,  Monday – Friday 10.00am – 5.00pm

Access to the collection and supporting reference materials for academic, commercial and  private research is primarily through the Explore History Centre and Research Room at Imperial War Museum London, but some material continues is to be accessed through other facilities.