Our Coronavirus Guidance

So that we can ensure that all Members of the Churchill College community stay healthy and safe, things will look a little different when you next come to College. But you can find everything you need to know on our new Coronavirus Guidance page  From the latest research from the University to what you should do if you have symptoms, and from the provision of College services to minimising the risk of transmission, you'll find all the answers to your questions here.

Re-opening the Churchill Archives Centre

The Churchill Archives Centre has now re-opened to provide a limited reading room service. For more details, see our Visit Us page.

We will continue to offer a limited but free copying and enquiry service and welcome enquiries sent to archives@chu.cam.ac.uk. We hope all our researchers stay safe and we look forward to welcoming you back.

Churchill Archives Centre: Media policy

Churchill Archives Centre Media Policy


Aims, purpose and objectives

This policy has been produced to describe in detail the various stages to be considered in relation to using archives for media purposes. It outlines both the services we provide and the work which we expect to be undertaken by media companies. The Archives Centre reserves the right to refuse permission to film.

This policy is subordinate to the Churchill Archives Centre Mission Statement



The Churchill Archives Centre is one of the premier repositories in the United Kingdom for modern personal papers. Part of Churchill College, Cambridge, itself the National and Commonwealth memorial to Sir Winston, the Centre exists to preserve and make available the raw material of our recent past. It is already one of the most important sources for the understanding of the twentieth century. The Centre maintains the archives of British politicians and public figures who helped decisively to shape that century. It also holds important papers documenting scientific advance over the same period. As our archival collections are typically unique, fragile and irreplaceable, their care and preservation must take priority. Consequently, the following conditions must be applied to any filming undertaken.

1. Making a Request to Film

1.1 We require at least 20 working days’ notice.

Advance notice of at least 20 days is required regarding the intended use of original documents for filming. It is advisable for a member of the production team to arrange an initial onsite visit in order to discuss the proposed filming and to assess the location’s suitability. In the case of large-scale filming or major programme ideas, a meeting should be booked at least two months in advance.

1.2 To request permission to film at Churchill College, please complete the Media Agreement Form and email it to archives@chu.cam.ac.uk as far in advance as possible.

2. Identifying the documents you wish to film

2.1 You are responsible for identifying document(s) you wish to film. While archives staff can provide help with highlighting collections and relevant catalogues, we have limited staff resources to undertake detailed research on your behalf – see our price list.

Archives Centre Price List

A general description of most collections is searchable online. In some instances however, paper catalogues may also need to be consulted within the Archives Centre reading rooms. It is therefore advisable for a member of the production team to arrange an initial visit in order to consult these catalogues.

2.2 All document references for filming must be submitted to Churchill Archives Centre at least five working days in advance of filming to ensure they are ready and prepared for your arrival. No additional documents can be ordered on the day of filming.

3. Researching the collections

3.1 Any media researchers are welcome to visit the Archives to undertake research at any time within the normal reading room opening hours of Monday-Friday (9am-5pm).

3.2 All researchers consulting original archives must also have a valid Archives Centre reader’s ticket. For further guidance please see our web pages.

3.3 If you are unable to carry out the necessary research in order to identify the items you wish to film, we can offer a limited research service or we can provide lists of independent researchers who may be able to help you on a paid basis.

4. Filming practicalities

4.1 Timings & Invigilation:

A maximum of half a day is available for filming archive documents in the reading room. Due to the fragile and irreplaceable nature of our archive collections, a member of staff must be present to supervise at all times throughout the filming. Therefore, filming of documents can only take place on weekdays, between the hours of 9.30am-12.30pm or 1.30pm-4.30pm. These time slots are inclusive of the time taken for setting up and packing up. Film crews must be off site by 5.00pm at the latest. In exceptional circumstances, it may be possible to arrange filming outside of these hours. However, this should be negotiated well in advance and would incur an additional fee.

4.2 A maximum of four crew associated with the filming, plus one presenter, are permitted.

4.3 Location of filming:

Subject to availability, the filming of original documents can only be undertaken in the reading rooms. Filming will be supervised at all times by staff.

Subject to availability, the filming of interviews without original documents can be undertaken in an office room.

Filming of archive storage areas, excluding original documents, is possible and will be supervised at all times by staff.

Filming on Churchill College grounds: Please liaise with Churchill Archives Centre staff.

All requests to film archives or use the premises must be preceded by the completion and signing of a Media Agreement Form.

5. Filming and the care of collections

5.1 As our archival documents are irreplaceable and easily damaged, they must therefore be handled carefully and as little as possible. Filming can only be undertaken if it does not compromise the physical preservation of the archives. All visitors will be asked to respect and adhere to the conservation and care requirements for document handling and the majority of the handling will be carried out by Archives Centre staff. Generally, documents will be filmed, untouched, while fully supported on a table or on an appropriate book rest provided by the Archives Centre. Any weights, rests or protective materials supplied by CAC staff must be used throughout the filming process.

5.2 You will be asked to sign to our rules on the Media Agreement Form.

5.3 Excessive exposure to light is also dangerous, and the lighting levels and periods of exposure must be kept to minimum. Every effort must be made to ensure that archive material is not subject to excessive lighting levels which can cause significant damage to documents. The Archives Centre may request lighting levels to be reduced to minimise risks to archive material while filming. Please remember to switch off additional lighting between takes to ensure that documents are not exposed to strong lighting for extended periods of time.

5.4 Under no circumstances can documents be removed from the reading rooms for filming.

5.5 The Archive Service reserves the right to refuse the use of any equipment if it is considered that it may have been poorly maintained, be harmful to the health and safety of staff or to the physical condition of the documents.

5.6 Similarly the Archive Service reserves the right to halt filming or photography if it is not satisfied with the standard of care being applied.

6. Technical requirements

6.1 The Archives Centre reserves the right to determine the suitability of all equipment used in filming, including its electrical safety. No equipment without a current valid safety certificate, or which does not conform to the Safety Regulations of the Electrical Institute of Great Britain and suitable British Standards, may be used on the premises. No lights or equipment may be clamped to any fixed furnishings. The capacity of the electrical circuits is that of any one 13 amp safety socket, i.e. just over 2 kilowatts. Multi outlet adaptors are forbidden even where the total wattage rating is within the 2 kilowatt guideline.

7. Insurance

7.1 The film company must provide us with proof of public liability insurance and that they are adequately insured. Any damage arising out of filming of Archives Centre material either of persons or objects will be the responsibility of the client. We shall ask for a copy of your insurance schedule when you request permission to film.

8. Broadcasting and copyright

8.1 Filming these archives does not constitute authorisation for the material to be broadcast without the express permission of the Archives Centre and the copyright owner of the particular archive collection. The onus to clear copyright and satisfy the requirements of the Copyright Act rests with the media company concerned. Where necessary, permission must be sought from external owners of collections which are held by the Archives Centre. Note that the owner of an archival document is not necessarily the same as the copyright holder. The Archive Centre will advise and provide contact details of the copyright holder where it is able to do so. Copyright fees may be payable and should ideally be confirmed in advance of filming.

8.2 Prior to filming, media companies must complete the Archives Centre License to publish/broadcast form. The licence sets out the use for which a document(s) is being used. This licence must be signed and returned to the Archives Centre before any filming or photography can take place.

8.3 It is the responsibility of the media company to ensure that any subsequent use of images does not infringe copyright.

9. Acknowledgements and transmission

9.1 When publishing, exhibiting or broadcasting any material from CAC (regardless of copyright status), formal acknowledgements must be made to the Archives Centre using the following credit line: "Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College", followed by the full document reference. Where required by the Archives Centre, the owner of the documents must also be acknowledged.

9.2 Please inform the Archives Centre of the date/s and time of the proposed broadcast/s.

10. Fees

10.1 Fees will generally be charged to media companies filming archives or using the Archives premises. Media companies will also be charged for consultancy work or programme input or preparation.

10.2 A facility fee will be levied by the Archives Centre for the cost of filming on its premises for each half day of filming or part thereof. These charges are entirely separate from any copyright reproduction fees that may be charged to broadcast or publish material.

10.3 Payment of the facility fee may be required in advance of filming.

10.4 Full address and billing details must be supplied in order for us to send you an invoice. Please provide these details within the Centre’s Media Agreement Form.

11. Interviews

11.1 Requests for television, radio and other interviews to promote archive collections, events, exhibitions and the Archives Centre in general should be addressed via archives@chu.cam.ac.uk.

11.2 The Centre reserves the right to refuse an interview.

12. Conduct

12.1 In accordance with Archives Centre rules, all visitors are expected to co-operate with Archives and Churchill College staff, and in support of maintaining a welcoming environment conducive to study and enjoyable use of the Centre. Visitors must not behave in a way that threatens or harasses members of staff or disturbs other users, and must not damage College property.

13. Termination

13.1 The Archives Centre reserves the right to terminate filming at any time if staff deem that the stipulated terms and conditions are not being met or that the filming is deviating from the agreed schedule or context.

14. Review

14.1 This policy will be reviewed annually but it is a working document and, depending on local circumstances, may be subject to modification before a formal review.


Reviewed by: Andrew Riley
Date: 30/9/19
Approved by Senior Management Team for October 2019 Archives Committee meeting
Date of next review: Oct 2020