Series of British Official War Photographs from World War II

Scope and Content

A Collection of photographs issued to Libraries by the Ministry of Information (MOI) 1939-1945. Photographs were sent to the Llandudno Library on a regular basis over the course of the Second World War.

The MOI was formed on September 4th 1939, the day after Britain's declaration of war. It was the central government department responsible for publicity and propaganda. The initial functions of the MOI were threefold: news and press censorship, home publicity and overseas publicity in Allied and neutral countries, this included information policy and the output of propaganda material. It is believed this collection of photographs was issued by The Home Publicity Division (HPD). This division dealt with the planning of general government or interdepartmental information, and provided common services for public relations activities of other government departments. HPD undertook three types of campaigns, those requested by other government departments, specific regional campaigns, and those it initiated itself.

The collection covers (and is arranged by) the Mediterranean (Sicily, Italy, North Africa, Gibralta, Malta, Yugoslavia), the Eastern Front, Far East, the Battle of the Atlantic (Convoys and U-Boat campaign, Offensive Operations), the Home Front (including Famous People and the Allied Bombing Campaign) and the Liberation of Europe (including some focus on Belsen).

Access Information

This collection is open for research. Access to some documents may be restricted due to Data Protection legislation, Conwy Archives will advise where this is the case. For details and opening hours see

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright reserved

Custodial History

Ministry of Information issued collection of war time photographs gathered from several theatres of war and several sources e.g. Official War Photograhers, Associated Press, New York Times etc. They were issued over the course of several years copies were sent in batches to the Llandudno Library, Caernarvonshire. These photographs were then transferred to the Caernarvonshire Record Office and transferred to the Conwy Archive Service when Conwy County Borough Council was formed in 1996.