IWM Film is an online service for commercial users that provides access to the leading film archive for sourcing footage on war and its impact on society from the First World War to the present day.
IWM’s film collection contains over 23,000 hours of footage dating from the turn of the twentieth century to the present day. The collection records people’s experiences of modern conflict from all walks of life. A wide range of material from public and service information films, documentaries and unedited combat films, through to official newsreels and amateur films are available to users. Over 250 hours of film from the First World War period is currently being digitised for online viewing.
IWM has been licencing footage for use in commercial productions for over 60 years, contributing material to a large variety of UK and international projects including major documentary series, single programmes, DVD releases, theatrical release documentaries and feature films.
Our team of experienced film curators offer expert advice on the content of our collection and deal with queries regarding the supply and licencing of material for use in commercial productions.
IWM (Imperial War Museums) is a global authority on conflict and its impact, from the First World War to the present day, in Britain, its former Empire and Commonwealth.
We are dedicated to recording people’s experiences of modern conflict, exploring the causes of war and its impact on people’s lives. Our collections are made up of the everyday and the exceptional, and are drawn from all walks of life. They reflect the total nature of war and reveal stories of people, places, ideas and events.
IWM engages with audiences from across the world both physically and virtually, through our website at iwm.org.uk, through our digital channels and innovation in digital resources and across our five branches: IWM London, IWM North, IWM Duxford, Churchill War Rooms and HMS Belfast.
Our collections, which include works of art and posters, film, photographs, oral history recordings, objects ranging from aircraft to toy bears, a huge range of documents, maps, diaries and letters, and a national reference library are available to browse at IWM Collections Search.
IWM Film is dedicated to the needs of commercial users.
Please Register to access the Download, My Collections and Add a clip functions.
You will received a confirmation email.
Click the Login link and enter your registered email address and password.
The Search option allows users to search all fields and displays results on a Search Results page.
The Advanced Search option allows users to search using specific fields or combinations of fields and displays results on a Search Results page.
Search results are displayed with film title, description (or part thereof), production date and film reference number.
If the film has been digitised and is available to view online, a frame from the film will be visible next to the film title. Click on the film frame or title to access the full details of the film and to view the digitised footage.
If the film has not been digitised and is not available to view online, this image will be displayed next to the film title. You will be able to see the film title, description (or part thereof), production date and film reference number. Click on the title to access the full details of the film.
On the Search Results page, you can filter your search results using the Refine this Search filters on the left hand side of the page. You can also change the display order using the Sort by drop-down box on right hand side of the page.
Advanced Searches can be saved using the save this search function on the Search Results page. Previous searches can be accessed using the view your saved searches function on the Advanced Search page.
Dates - dates are searched and displayed in the format YYYY-MM-DD. Search Results can be sorted by date using the Sort By drop down menu options Date (A to Z) - earliest first or Date (Z to A) - most recent first. For many films the month and day are not known, so it is advisable to do an initial search by year only.
Film Reference Numbers - to search for a film reference number with less than three digits, for example IWM 5 please insert double quotes around the entire film reference number for the search “IWM 5” . To search for a film with a film reference number with more than two digits double quotes are not required, for example IWM 210.
On the Search Results page, click on the film frame or title to access the full details of the film and to view the digitised footage.
Click Click to play on the Flash Player to view the film. You can also use the Frames tab below the Flash Player to view thumbnail images from the film – click on a frame image to view the film from this point.
IWM Film offers free time-coded, watermarked, downloads of film footage from this site for commercial users for evaluation, review and section selection purposes only.
On the Search Results page, click on the film frame or title to access the full details of the film and view the digitised footage
To download a commercial use time-coded screener copy click Download MOV button on the relevant film record page.
The download will be provided as MOV file only (bitrate of 1 Mbit/sec) with a running time-code and large watermark in vision throughout.
No other format downloads are available from this site.
You will be required to agree to our Download User Agreement before receiving your download.
Downloads from this site are free and are supplied as a MOV file with time-code and watermark in vision throughout.
Downloads are provided for evaluation, review and selection purposes only.
All visual material and information provided are in the ownership of, or copyright of, IWM (Imperial War Museums) or are provided by IWM with permission of the right holders.
By downloading from this site, the user agrees to the following:
The material will be used for evaluation, review and selection only and for no other purposes.
The user will not remove any watermark or spoiler.
The material will not be used in any way that suggests that IWM, or any rights holder, endorses the use of the material.
The material will not be used in a way that trivialises, sensationalises or demeans the subject matter.
To save film footage in My Collections click on the Add To My Collection link.
Create a new collection by entering a title and clicking Create or add the film to an existing collection by selecting the collection title from the drop down list and then click Add.
To access films saved in My Collections click on the My Collections link - a list of your collections will be displayed. Click on the required title on the list to access the saved films.
All new My Collections default to Public and available to other users of the site.
A Public collection can be located and viewed by other users of the site by searching by title using the Search My Collections function on the My Collections page
To make your My Collections Private and not available to other users of the site, select the title of the collection and click Make Private.
My Collections can be edited and deleted
Complete films can be downloaded from My Collections - see Downloading footage information above.
Clips can be downloaded from My Collections - see Download a clip information below . (Click on the round green download button on the right of the frame of the film to start the download process.)
IWM Film is dedicated to the needs of commercial users. Using Add a clip, commercial users can select specific sequences to save in My Collection or to Download.
On the Search Results page, click on the film frame or title to access the full details of the film and view the digitised footage.
Click on the Add a clip button under the Flash Player to access this functionality.
Select the required clip using the Clip start and Clip end tools.
The details of the clip will appear in a bar below the Flash Player.
Add the selected clip to My Collection using the Add clips to My Collection button below the bar.
To Download a clip, select the required clip using the Clip start and Clip end tools.The details of the clip will appear in a bar below the Flash Player.
Click on the round green download button on the right hand side of the bar and agree to our Download User Agreement.
Click Continue in the Download clip dialogue box and your clip download will be created. To access your clip go to My Clip Downloads.
My Clip Downloads contains your clip downloads. Click on Completed to access your download. Click on the arrow on the right hand side of the details of the required clip to receive your download.
IWM (Imperial War Museums) provides access to all material in IWM’s film collection for commercial use, subject to copyright restrictions and IWM preservation priorities.
IWM’s Film Archive has a team of experienced film curators available to offer expert advice on the content of the collection and deal with queries regarding the supply and licencing of material for use in commercial productions.
Detailed information on a large proportion of IWM’s film collection can be searched online at IWM Film.
Information on films not listed online is mainly held on card indexes with associated documentation. This information can be researched in IWM’s Film Archive by prior appointment - one working day’s notice is normally sufficient. There is no charge for card index and documentation research appointments.
Subject to preservation priorities, films not available for viewing online may be viewed in IWM’s Film Archive by prior appointment – normally 3 to 7 working days’ notice is required. Please note that viewing facilities are limited and in constant demand. There is no charge for viewing appointments for commercial users.
IWM’s Film Archive is open Monday – Friday 10.00 -17.00 GMT, closed Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
Subject to preservation priorities and copyright restrictions, time-coded DVD screeners of films not available for viewing online can be supplied to commercial users for evaluation, review and scene selection purposes. There is a charge for this service
Selected sections from films can be transferred on to all broadcast formats and television standards by approved independent commercial companies. Payment is made direct to the commercial company. Please contact IWM’s Film Archive for more details.
IWM releases material from IWM’s collections under its Standard Terms and Conditions.
IWM offers a range of licence fees for the use of IWM film in commercial projects. The licence fee is normally a per second rate based on distribution, territory and licence period. Licence fees can be packaged to suit the specific needs of commercial productions. Please contact IWM’s Film Archive to discuss licence fees.
Contact IWM’s Film Archive for more details about IWM’s film collection, our services for commercial users and to discuss the needs of your production.
tel + 44 (0)20 7416 5291/2
Street address (for pre-booked appointments)
IWM (Imperial War Museums)
All Saints Building,
London SE11 4SJ
London SE1 6HZ
The IWM Film website is dedicated to the needs of commercial users.
Non-commercial users are recommended to use IWM Collections Search to search IWM’s film collection and other IWM collections.
For more information about IWM film services for non-commercial users please see Our Research Facilities.
A selection of IWM films have been released on DVD for home viewing and are available to purchase from IWM Shop.
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