Imperial War Museum albums

BarnOwlLover

Airman 1st Class
207
53
Nov 3, 2022
I don't know if this is the best place to put this, since it deals (mainly) with photographs (and some videos, other than I've found, I'm sure). But IWM does have photos and such of experimental and service type aircraft though the years. Of note is that they have a ton of World War II aircraft, including rare ones. Among the one's I've found are various photos (and a good video) of the de Havilland Hornet/Sea Hornet, the Hawker Fury/Sea Fury (including good photos of the Sabre powered variant), and the Supermarine Spiteful/Seafang. I'm thinking that IWM got their photos from the same place that the OP got them for the Air Ministry Pics thread.
 

junkman3353

Airman
15
15
Jun 1, 2019
100% agree. Unfortunately their search function at the American Air Museum website has been down since June for a major upgrade, there are still any number of searchable items available at this one: Find an object | Imperial War Museums
For instance, with just a little filtering you can search for specific items. In this case I just looked for photos of Mustangs and came up with almost 1900 photos that were Mustang related.
 

BarnOwlLover

Airman 1st Class
207
53
Nov 3, 2022
As I mentioned, though they're no photos of the Griffon-powered Fury, there's some of the Sabre powered Fury, some of the Spiteful/Seafang (including powerplant) and Hornet/Sea Hornet. I wonder if the American Air Museum would have more photos once it's back online.
 

ColFord

Airman 1st Class
139
431
Feb 18, 2010
Canberra
IWM has a mere fraction of their total photo holding digitised and available online. IWM has been slowly increasing the numbers of photos available digitally online via their website and has had an appparent policy of rotating the photos available via their online search engine periodically in small increments. Their physical photo and film holdings across their various physical sites is quite extensive with in total many millions of photos held in various forms including original negatives, original prints, reprints from negatives and more recently the digital copies. In their research centre at the IWM London they have large photo albums, with the photos in each album sorted via various means. Often photos from a particular source eg Air Ministry Official Photographers, Ministry of Aircraft Production, UK Aviation Press, donated private collections, will be grouped into a single album or sets of albums. As an example, IWM holds a very large collection of RAF and Allied Air Forces aircrew photographs that were taken by various photographers during WW2. Only a very small percentage of those photos are listed on their online collection and able to be found using their website search function. Similarly only a small percentage digitised at this time - it's a big job to digitise such a large collection. But an inquiry to their Photographic Section where they use their in-house catalogues and search tools can produce quite extensive listings of available photos. I know of a number of aviation researchers who have spent many, many days in the IWM research centre going through the albums to identify photos of interest. The IWM also has an arrangement where serious researchers can view original newsreel and film footage and obtain print copies of individual frames from the footage.
 

nuuumannn

Major
9,749
8,321
Oct 12, 2011
Nelson
Only a very small percentage of those photos are listed on their online collection and able to be found using their website search function. Similarly only a small percentage digitised at this time - it's a big job to digitise such a large collection.

I used to do this as a part of my job as a curator in aviation museums in the UK. It is a massive job and takes time. IWM, being as large as it is has thousands upon thousands of photographs and scanning them is only the start - they need to be transferred onto the museum's database software, with appropriate captions to enable the search function to successfully highlight the image. Most museums now use different systems, but when I worked in museums, Vernon was being introduced as it was tailor made for doing such a thing. All of this takes lots of time by a few people, as museums don't typically have large resources to do this kind of thing. someone has to sit and scan the photo, write information about and provide appropriate search terms, such as known information like location, aircraft make, model, squadron/unit, weapons displayed, persons in the photo if they can be identified and so on. It's a huge task.
 

BarnOwlLover

Airman 1st Class
207
53
Nov 3, 2022
No wonder, as mentioned, that what they have, which is already impressive, is a small fraction of what they actually have. Just like preserving aircraft, this is a job handled by relatively few dedicated people.
 

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