You do not need to Register to search and view on the IWM Film website.
Which Browser to use
Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox and Safari are recommended.
- Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 with Google Chrome (61 or higher), Microsoft Edge, Firefox (v55 or higher) or Internet Explorer v11 .
- Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan or macOS 10.12 Sierra or macOS 10.13 High Sierra with Safari 11.0 (or higher) or Google Chrome (61 or higher).
Windows 7 OS with Internet Explorer v11 is not recommended for accessing the full functionality of the site.
How to search
Search the IWM film collection, and personal Your collections which have been made Public, using the Search bar on the Home, Results and Record pages.
- Use " " in your search to find specific strings of text ie "Women's Land Army" (the same search without " " find all instances where each individual word appears in a film record).
- Use Boolean searches to refine your search - either London AND women, or London women (assumed and) will find all instances where both words are in the same record; Female OR women will find instances with either word in a record; Churchill NOT London will find all instances with Churchill in a record, but not London. Please use capitals for Boolean searches.
- Use * as a wildcard in your search to find words beginning with specific letters, for example Pol* will find Poland, Polish etc.
Advance Search - available via the Search bar on the Home, Results and Records page. Option to search via specific fields.
Filter and Sort - your search results using the options on the left hand side of the Results page.
Save Searches - via the drop down menu accessible by clicking on the star next to the number of results for the search, or via the Receive notification of this search at the bottom of the searchresults page - name and save your search. Access Saved Searches - via the Search bar on the Home, Results and Record pages. (Login to access Saved Searches).
Receive notifications of this search - via link at bottom of Results page. To receive an email notification when more content on the subject of your search is added to the IWM Film site.
RSS Feed - available via link Subscribe this search link at bottom of Results page.
Please note that the launch version of the new IWM Film site searches films that are digitised only (launch February 2018).
Information is now being added about films that are not yet digitised, however this work is not complete (August 2018). Until this work is complete please continue to use IWM Collections Search to search the entire film collection including all currently non-digitised films.
How to download complete media items.
Please Register/Login to download digitised film.
To download, click on the Records option, Blue Button on the right hand side of the Record page of the digitised film of interest and select Download media
How to add complete media items to your personal Your collection.
Please Register/Login to add a film to Your collections.
To save a film in Your collections click on Records options, Blue Button on the right hand side of the Record page of the digitised film of interest and select Add to collection. You can either add the film to an existing collection or create a new one.
To access film saved in Your collections select Your Account on the menu bar.
To edit or delete a collection, click on the three small squares to the right of the relevant film image in Your collections box to access the Collections options menu.
All new Your collections are Private. To share a collection, click relevant film image in the Your collections box, and then click on the three small squares next to Private to access the Collections options menu including the Share this collection options - you can choose to keep your collection Private; make a collection Public (available to all) or to Share with groups and users (share with specific groups and users by email invitation).
How to select clips, save clips to your personal Your collection, share saved clips and download saved clips.
Please Register/Login to select clips to add to Your collections and Download.
Please note that the clip selection functionality is not available on mobiles and tablets - please access the IWM Film site using a PC or Mac to select, save or download clips.
To select a clip click on the scissor link on the bottom right hand side of the film viewer on the Record page of the digitised film of interest. Use the sliders to select the clip(s) of interest.
To save your clip, click on Add clip to Collection, or More to add the clip(s) to Your Collections. You can either add the clip(s) to an existing collection or create a new one.
You can also order a Download of a clip saved in Your collections by clicking in the relevant film image in Your Collections and then clicking on the three small squares to right of the film title to access the Collections options menu including the Download option, where you can choose to Order a Download, or Order a download for another user.
The clip will present with a time-code for the clip at the bottom left of the image ie 0:00 - 0:09. Click on this time-code to reveal the origin time-code ie 10:01:11:16 - 10:01:21:07 (0 mins 9.24 secs) which you will need to supply to order a copy of the clip.
Please Register/Login to access the content of clip reels.
IWM Film Curators have compiled clip reels to assist you with your search – new clip reels will be added regularly.
To search for all clip reels please enter clip reel as a search term.
To access the content of a clip reel you must Register or Login
Each individual clip in a clip reel has an option to view (the clip), view original (the complete film) Add to collection (the clip) Order a download (the clip) and Order a download for another user (the clip) – please click on the three small squares to right of the film title to access the Collection item options menu.
Each clip will present with a time-code for the clip at the bottom left of the image ie 0:00 - 0:09. Click on this time-code to reveal the origin time-code ie 10:01:11:16 - 10:01:21:07 (0 mins 9.24 secs) which you will need to supply to order a copy of the clip.
Keyboard shortcuts: click on the small image of a keyboard in the top right of the Record page for information on keyboard shortcuts.
How to access films not yet digitised and viewable online
Information on non-digitised films will be available on the new IWM Film website soon. In the meantime please use IWM Collections Search
Films which are not yet digitised and viewable online are presented with an image of a sheet of paper on the Results page.
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 demand. There is no charge for viewing appointments for commercial users.
Subject to preservation priorities and copyright, IWM can supply time-coded DVD screener copies of non-digitised films - there is a charge for this service.
How to access films not yet catalogued and searchable online
Currently, for a small amount of the IWM film collection, the only content finding-aids are card indexes with associated documentation - this information may be researched in the IWM Film Archive by prior appointment. Please contact the film curators with details of your research who will be able to advise if there is any film material, not searchable online, that may be of interest to your project. There is no charge for curatorial advice, or card index and documentation research appointments.