More and more WWII photographs are appearing online as archives and museums digitize their extensive collections. Below are some of the best sites online to find original WWII photographs.
Le Mémorial de Caen |
The Caen Memorial website has an extensive collection of photos online, primarily focused on the Normany Invasion.
British Pathe Limited |
Although primarily designed to allow preview of film footage, the British Pathe website allows viewing of frames from the films. Use the search box on the home page to locate films of interest, then click on the "Preview Stills" icon on the search results page to view images. A separate pop-up window should then display the individual frames, click on a frame to view a larger version, and then click again for an even higher-resolution version. Some recommended searches are Normandy Invasion, Arnhem, El Alamein, and Invasion Sicily.
Corbis has an extensive collection of stock photography and pictures combined with a powerful search engine. Watermarked, high-resolution versions of most images can be browsed online. Some recommended search strings are World War II, Normandy 1944, Battle Ardennes, and Berlin 1945. Searching for color photographs only and searching by photographer can also yield interesting results.
Archives Normandie 1939-1945 |
Established by the Conseil Régional de Basse-Normandie as part of the 60th Anniversary of the liberation of Normandy, this website contains a variety of photographs including many from U.S. and Canadian archives. To search for photos by subject or keyword, click on "Recherche guidée." Almost any search word will yield interesting results. (According to the website, many of the photos can be freely downloaded and used if properly credited, but readers should confirm this for themselves directly.) Many of the archives' photographs are also available on Flickr in the PhotosNormandie account.
Australian War Memorial |
The Australian War Memorial has an extensive online collection covering all aspects of WWII which involved Australian troops. The collection is especially useful for photos from North Africa. For example, search for "El Alamein" or "Libya".
Time & Life Pictures |
Moderate selection of WWII images including a number of color images. For an excellent set of photos from North Africa including a rare color photo of a Tiger tank in Tunisia, search for "Eliot Elisofon Tunisia". The Life photo archive is also searchable on Google in the Life Photo Archive.
Imperial War Museum Collections Online Database |
The online collection has a small set of WWII photographs online. To search for images, choose "Photographs" in the search pull-down menu.
Getty Images |
Only a very limited selection of photos related to WWII are available online at this time, but careful searching will yield some photos of interest. A few WWII video clips are also in the film section.
Timeframes (National Library of New Zealand) |
Timeframes displays a large collection of images of New Zealand military especially from Crete, North Africa, and Italy. Searching for "Tiger Tank" yields a nice set of photos of Tigers destroyed in Italy. (Also see the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre at www.nzetc.org.)