Copyright:Legacy/Copyright Resources/Image Sources/Imperial War Museums

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Imperial War Museums

Caption: Underground Raid Shelter - November 1940 © IWM (D 1568)


The Imperial War Museums is a collaboration of five British museums: IWM London; IWM North in Trafford, Greater Manchester; IWM Duxford near Cambridge; the Churchill War Rooms in Whitehall, London; and the historic ship HMS Belfast, moored in the Pool of London on the River Thames. Together they cover conflicts involving Britain or the Commonwealth from World War one to the present. Their online collection covers a variety of materials including over 90,000 digitized images from photographs, to wartime watercolour paintings by soldiers, to wartime propaganda posters.


Most of the images in the IWM digital collection are available for use under the IWM's Non-commercial Licence. Each image will be marked if it is available for use. Look for the phrase "This item is available to share and reuse under the terms of the IWM Non Commercial Licence" in the image record information (right side of the image).

The IWM's Non-commercial Licence allows users to:

  • Download, copy, publish, and distribute the image for non-commercial purposes.
  • Users must include attribution statement specified by the IWM, found on the image download page.
  • Including a link back to the image page is highly appreciated.


  • Image use must be non-commercial.
  • Image cannot be cropped or modified in a way that changes the original. (Resizing is okay)
  • Image cannot be used in a way that suggests any official support or endorsement of your work.
  • Image use must respect the subject matter of the image.

Searching, Downloading, & Embedding

  1. From the Collections and Research page click on "Collections Search" or go directly to the search page.
  2. Enter keywords in search bar.
  3. Use the filter options in the menu bar on the left of the page to filter results. Selecting more then one option within a filter will include results that match any of those criteria. For example, selecting First and second world war in the subject period filter will return results from either WWI or WWII. Combining filters will return results that match all the filters. For example using the Subject period filter (WWI) and the Places filter (England) will return results that are from, or about England during WWI.
  4. You can choose to display 10, 20, or 50 results on a page. If you are scrolling through many results, displaying more on a page is desirable.
  1. Click on the image thumb to go to the image page.
  2. Look for the statement "This item is available to share and reuse under the terms of the IWM Non Commercial Licence," and click on "share and reuse" to open the image download. If there is no statement of reuse, the image is not available for use.
  3. Copy and save attribution statement. It will have the format: ©IWM (Letter ####).
  4. Click "Download this image". This will open the full sized image in a new window.
  5. Right click image, select "Save image as".
  • No embedding options.


Caption: Underground Raid Shelter - November 1940 © IWM (D 1568)

Notes / Caution

  • Some of the photographs are graphic and some viewers may find them disturbing.

Similar / See Also