Imperial War Museum North (Manchester)

IWM North
The Quays
Trafford Wharf Road
Trafford Park
Manchester M17 1TZ
United Kingdom

Carl Warner
Head of Cold War and late 20th Century Conflict
Tel. +44 (0)1223 835 000

IWM North
Tel. +44 (0)161 836 4000

Opening Hours:
Daily 10 am - 5 pm


Imperial War Museums (IWM) is a family of five 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.

We are a leading authority on conflict and its impact, focusing on Britain, its former Empire and the Commonwealth, from the First World War to the present. IWM illustrates and records all aspects of modern war and of the individual's experience of it, whether allied or enemy, service or civilian, military or political, social or cultural.

We collect objects and stories that give an insight into people's experiences of war, we preserve them for future generations, and we bring them to today's audience in the most powerful way possible. Every story we tell says something about how real people experience the true force of war.

Our aim is to share those stories with other people – our visitors and audiences – in a way that engages and challenges them. In other words, we expect our stories to change the way people think about war.

Cold War Interests: 

The museum holds huge collections of material relating to 20th and 21st century conflict. It has a particularly rich collection of post-1945 objects.

IWM is also the official repository for relevant film and photographs under the terms of the Public Records Act 1958. This means that a substantial proportion of official military photos and films from 1945 are held by the museum, alongside personal collections donated by service personnel and civilians. Sizeable collections include: Art (93,000 items), Documents (30,000 items), Sound (33,000 recordings), Film (almost 200,000 items) and Photographs (11 million images).

Oral history interviews, films, personal papers and documents relating to the lives and experiences of hundreds of 'Cold Warriors' can be accessed both online and at our branches. Physical objects on display range in size from the giant B-52 Stratofortress and Avro Vulcan, through British, Soviet and American tanks, to uniforms, personal equipment, keepsakes and mementoes. Multiple perspectives are included – military and civilian, presidents, privates and protesters. To find out more, visit and search 'Cold War'.

IWM London, IWM Duxford and IWM North each host permanent galleries that tell powerful Cold War stories, and these are augmented with learning activities. HMS Belfast and the IWM Duxford site itself are both important national Cold War heritage sites, in military service until 1963 and 1961 respectively.