The Churchill Papers consist of the original documents sent, received or composed by Sir Winston Churchill during the course of his long and active life. In 2013 the collection was recognised by UNESCO, as part of its Memory of the World Programme, highlighting its particular importance to the heritage of Britain.
The collection includes some 3000 boxes of letters and documents ranging from his first childhood letters to his final writings. They include his personal correspondence with friends and family, and his official exchanges with kings, presidents, politicians and military leaders. Some of the most memorable phrases of the twentieth-century are preserved in his own drafts and speaking notes for the famous wartime speeches. The Churchill Papers comprise an estimated 1 million individual documents. In April 1995 grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the John Paul Getty Foundation purchased the Churchill Papers for the nation.
The Churchill Archives Centre is now (January 2019) working on a further 26 archive boxes of additional Churchill materials formerly in the possession of Sir Martin Gilbert.
The Churchill Papers have been catalogued in a project lasting over 6 years. This catalogue, containing over 70,000 entries is now available and allows you to locate references to individual people, subjects or events at the touch of a button.
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The Churchill Papers are made available to researchers using Churchill Archives Centre and worldwide in digital format. The digital edition of the Churchill Papers is published by Bloomsbury Academic and is available online to subscribing institutions.
The Churchill archive is freely available in our reading rooms and onsite at Churchill College (via the Churchill College wireless network). Researchers can download images of documents directly from churchillarchive.com and so are encouraged to consider bringing a laptop or other device for this purpose. For conservation reasons, the fragile originals are no longer issued to researchers.
If you are not able to visit us in Cambridge there are a number of ways you can get remote access to churchillarchive.com. Please feel free to contact Churchill Archives Centre for guidance.
If you are affiliated to an institution of higher education, please check with your librarian if the institution has a subscription or is running a trial. If you would like Bloomsbury to contact your librarian directly to discuss setting up a free trial, please contact:
If you are not affiliated to an institution of higher education and are based in the UK, why not contact your public library to suggest they take advantage of a free trial? Your library can get in touch with JCS Online Resources to set this up quickly and easily.
You may also wish to consider purchasing an individual subscription. You can find out about prices and purchasing a subscription from the Bloomsbury sales team.