Researchers and the IWM

Discussion in 'Research Material' started by Gary Kennedy, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    Just wondering whether it's possible to hire a researcher to photograph files at the IWM in the same way as you can at the National Archives? I had a look on the IWM site and couldn't see anything on the subject.

    There are a few items in the IWM library that sound interesting, but it's difficult to gauge how much they might cost using their copy service as not every description includes a page count. Also not sure if they count facing pages at A5 size as two separate copies or one combined page if they can fit it all on the platen. I know it's only £0.40 a page but with my wandering eye for military pamphlets that can mount up!


  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  3. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    I did send off a request for a couple of the Infantry Notes series, at least to get an estimate. That was only about 10 days ago but no reply yet.

    I did go down to the IWM library many years ago, one of the most frustrating days I've spent that didn't involve work or IT equipment. In the end all I came back with was a stonking headache!

    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  4. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    There's some kind of technical problem afoot with IWM; they haven't been replying to any email requests/enquiries for months now. I shouldn't hold my breath for a response to your estimate request unless it was submitted on printed paper.
  5. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    I travel to the IWM occasionally, some of their collection has been put in storage at Duxford and is not viewable for the foreseeable future
  6. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    I blagged my way into the archive one Saturday afternoon some years ago when it was still in the Rotunda. It was strictly no cameras - transcribe it or pay for copies. I would guess that it hasn't got any better since.
  7. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    AFAIK the IWM have recently brought in a Digital Camera Policy but, typical IWM, it's a real kludge of a policy. Basically, you have to purchase a camera licence to be allowed to use your camera and they advise that you purchase it in advance of entering the reading room (whether you know if you'll find anything worth photographing or not). This rather implies that this 'licence' is on a per visit basis rather thana general licence for a year or more. Also, I'm not sure but I think the 'licence' puts a limit on how many photographs you can take. You also need to make the appointment to view about a week in advance, there's no simple show up and request the file. I am planning a trip to IWM to read a 3 volume diary of a women who was interned in a Jap PoW camp during WWII, not sure when I'm going to do this maybe sometime in the next few weeks or in July when I return from Malta. I shall find out the lay of the land then and report back!
    CL1 likes this.
  8. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    Heck, you ain't filling me with optimism chaps!

    Thanks for the feedback all. I did at least get an initial reply from a human when I emailed the IWM, the enquiry form was just an automated email. If I do get anywhere I shall report back.

  9. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Please do, OG.
  10. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    Sorry mate but it is the IWM and it is wholly staffed with po-faced, upper-middle class w*nkers who believe that they, and they alone, are the keepers of the truth and that we 'plebs' are to be thwarted in our attempts to gain access to our own heritage. Never mind that it's our taxes that pay for these idiots to have jobs in the first place (coz let's face it, none of them could cope in the real world). I like to think of it as 'Care in the Community' at work!
    dave500 likes this.
  11. Reid

    Reid Junior Member

    This is a great question. Living OS makes it difficult to access Kew & IWM, so having some wonderful members provide this service has always been welcome. I requested a cost for some material through their "official channel" and nearly died at the price!

    I thought I'd seen a job advertised at IWM for digitising records (I've been looking to get a job there) but it isn't listed any longer, quite possibly due to the date for applications has closed.

    Even if this is correct, it will take quite some time before they would be ready to provide material in a manner similar to the NA - for now, if you can't photograph, copying files in such a painstaking manner may be the only answer.

    Such a great pity they cannot see the value in allowing people to copy material on their own cameras. Guess they're afraid they'll suddenly find themselves redundant?? ;)
  12. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Guilty as charged I'm a pleb with extra plebness :D

    I must say my best experience was with the Cheshire archives spoke to humans and they were very interested in the research and info was quickly gained.

    Never never never give up
    onwards and upwards
  13. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    The cost of photography at the IWM is £10 per day - no camera stands provided so make sure your camera is not prone to shakes.
    The whole ethos of the IWM seems to be to discourage research. Appointments are either morning or afternoon or all day with an hour break for staff lunch 1300 - 1400
  14. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I've heard that there are limits on how much of a document can be copied--if this was the case, is it still?
  15. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Not sure about that - I normally copy personal documents / memoirs as opposed to sections of books
  16. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    I had a reply from the IWM today, they found the docs I asked about and I can order copies. This is the general blurb that came with the email in case it's helpful to anyone planning a raid...sorry, visit.

    "Please note that due to extremely high demand photocopying requests can sometimes take up to a month from receipt of a completed photocopying request form.

    If possible, you may prefer to make an appointment to view the material in our Lambeth Road Research Room and purchase a 1-day photography permit to take your own reference photographs. The price of this permit is £10. If you do wish to make an appointment to visit the Research Room please use Making an appointment to visit IWM London's Research Room. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE IWM LONDON RESEARCH ROOM IS MOVING TO AN ADVANCED ORDERING SYSTEM FROM MONDAY 9 APRIL 2018. We will no longer be able to offer on-the-day ordering of material. Please order material at least FIVE WORKING DAYS in advance of your planned visit otherwise we will be unable to supply material for you to view.

    If you wish to proceed with the photocopy request, you are required for copyright and financial purposes to complete and sign an original photocopying request form. A copy of this form is attached..."

    So I can get my copies of Infantry Notes published either side of VE-Day, if I can part with the fee of £0.40 per page for 137 pages, plus a £2.50 'handling charge', even though I didn't ask to be handled...

    But, there is life in the IWM and they will respond to hails.

  17. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    System always used to be clunky, but new model prohibits organic research. It also kicks foreign researchers in the teeth, or those who live in regions, with the one hour closure for lunch adding insult to injury.

    Camera charge is steep (I used to extensively access their archives) and it would have been an essential cost just to offset the substantial copying fees levied.

    There is good reason why many no longer use IWM collections, they are simply are not worth the cost or hassle.

    Which strongly appears to be Management's goal anyway. A shameful situation to be caught in, frankly a national disgrace given they are effectively a QUANGO, but not one that is likely to change anytime soon.
    Seroster likes this.
  18. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    I am still waiting for a reply!

    Screen Shot 2018-06-27 at 19.51.55.png
  19. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I received an automatic reply from the Image Sales department on Feb 15th and then another to a re-send on March 15th.

    I've now given up.
  20. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    It is possible one may be able to elicit information under FOIs...

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