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Imperial War Museums (IWM), conceived in 1917 as the Empire's memorial to the sacrifice and effort of the First World War, has included a film archive from its very beginnings and now covers all aspects of conflicts - social and political as well as military - in which British and Commonwealth forces have been involved since the start of the twentieth century. Its constantly growing collection currently comprises some 20,000 hours plus of moving images.
The collection not only covers the First and Second World Wars but also more recent material with two substantial collections from NATO and the UN in the former Yugoslavia, as well as material shot by British forces in Northern Ireland, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Broadly the collection represents a wide and diverse range of official material from overt propaganda, documentaries, unedited combat film, instructional films, dramatisations and technological and public information films to travelogues, newsreels and amateur films shot by both civilians and service personnel. There are also large collections of film shot by civilian organisations during the Second World War, such as the London Fire Brigade, British Transport Films (encompassing the then privately owned railway companies) and the Ford Motor Company.
Online catalogue, time-coded DVDs produced in-house, research and viewing on premises, access to original documentation, transfers to all formats/standards of broadcast tape by external companies. Specialist advice on material held. Historical advice available.
Digitisation of collection currently in progress, with priority given to IWMs large First World War film collection.
IWM Film website http://film.iwmcollections.org.uk/
IWM film collection website dedicated to the needs of commercial users. Full catalogue details searchable online. Digitised films available to view online. Digisitised fillms available to download as a low-res time-coded screener, free of charge.
IWM Collections Search http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/search
IWM website search for all IWM Collections, including film.
FOCAL International Awards "Best Content Library" 2004.
FOCAL International Awards "Best Use of Footage in a Home Entertainment Release" 2012.