This article reviews advances in the application of boundary element methods (BEM) to fracture mechanics which have taken place over the last 25 years. Applications discussed include linear, nonlinear and transient problems. Also reviewed are contributions using the indirect boundary element formulations. Over this period the method has emerged as the most efficient technique for the evaluation of stress intensity factors (SIF) and crack growth analysis in the context of linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM). Much has also been achieved in the application to dynamic fracture mechanics. This review article contains 289 references.