Though most of our efforts recently have been concentrated on our Churchill exhibition at the Morgan Library in New York, we have had a few other irons in the fire as well. I have recently brought back to the Archives Centre six pages from one of Churchill’s greatest wartime speeches (best known as the "Some chicken! Some neck!" speech), given in Ottawa on 30 December 1941, when Churchill addressed Senators and Members of the Canadian Parliament.
For the last three months, key pages from this speech have been on display in the Library of Parliament in Ottawa, and have been seen by well over 100,000 people: one of our staff couriered them out back in March, and I duly dragged them back again once the exhibition was over.
Even for a small display like this, there is a lot of work involved: detailed conservation reports have to be done for each individual page of the speech, so that we know that they are returning to us in exactly the same state as when they left. Then there is a small mountain of paperwork, to do with insurance, specialist agents to help the couriers, conditions during the display and so on, but if a display’s as popular as this, then it should be worth it (and besides, as long as they’re with the papers, the lucky courier gets to travel in business class!).
Sonia L’Heureux, Associate Parliamentary Librarian and Allen Packwood, Director, Churchill Archives Centre.