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Frequently asked questions on visiting the Archives Centre, our collections, and obtaining and using copies from the archives.
Monday to Friday: 9am–5pm
Closed weekends and UK public holidays.
Please note that the Archives Centre will be closed for training on Wednesday 21 August.
Churchill Archives Centre
Telephone: (01223) 33608
The Churchill Archives Centre is located on the campus of Churchill College, Cambridge.
Readers intending to use the Archives Centre should make contact in advance, giving details of their research subject and listing the collections they will wish to consult.
The Archives Centre has disabled access, with a lift to the reading room. Wheelchair users are asked to discuss their needs with us in advance of their visit.
A free wireless network is available in the reading room, enabling readers with wireless enabled laptops and devices to access the Internet from their desks. Access to eduroam is also available.
The reading room is air-conditioned, for the better preservation of the archives, and can feel a little cold, particularly in the summer, so readers are advised to bring warm clothing.
New readers will need to complete the Reader Application Form and should also provide two forms of identification, one with a photograph, and one showing the same address as will be given on their Reader Application Form (such as a passport, driving licence or amenity bill).
As the Archives Centre can become full at busy times, readers should specify on which dates they intend to visit the Archives Centre. Any readers who are unable to keep appointments are asked to notify the Archives Centre as soon as possible.
For the security and preservation of the unique documents within our care, we kindly ask readers to observe the following rules:
No smoking is permitted anywhere in the Archives Centre building.
No drinking or eating (including sweets, gum and throat pastilles) is permitted in the reading room.
Bags, coats and briefcases (including laptop bags and camera cases) must be left outside the reading room in the lockers provided (£1.00 coin deposit). Readers are asked to only bring essential items into the reading room. Large items of luggage cannot be accommodated.
Pencils only should be used for note-taking (pens, ink etc. are not allowed into the reading room). Pencils can be purchased from the enquiry desk.
Yellow paper only should be used for note-taking (in order to distinguish the reader’s notes from the archival material). If you are bringing other essential papers into the reading room, they must be kept separate from archival originals. Yellow A4 pads may be purchased at the enquiry desk.
Papers must be handled with great care and each file returned in a tidy condition to the issue desk. Readers are required to follow handling guidelines issued by the Archives Centre.
Please keep papers in the order that you found them, (even if that does not appear to be the correct order to you).
The use of photocopiers and scanners is not permitted. You may use your own equipment (eg camera, smartphone or tablet) to take photographs of documents subject to certain restrictions (e.g. no flash photography). Please inform staff if you intend to take photographs.
When taking photographs your handling of the original papers should not change i.e. you should continue to practise safe handling according to the guidelines you are given and continue to be careful to retain the order of papers in the file.
The Search Rooms are constantly monitored by security cameras.
Readers may be asked to show the contents of their file/bags on leaving the Archives Centre.
For a small daily charge readers may use their own conventional or digital camera to make their own copies, subject to advance booking and advice of the Archives Centre staff. Please note that the Churchill Papers collection has been digitised and that the fragile originals are no longer issued. No flash photography is permitted, and restrictions may apply. Tripods and any equipment other than the camera are not permitted. Copyright declarations must be completed.
Please read our information sheet about copying original material:
There is a copying service subject to restrictions. Please fill out the order form below.
All copies are supplied for the purposes of private study (under the conditions defined in the 1988 Copyright Act) and must not be sold, circulated or recopied. Readers purchasing copies are required to sign an undertaking to this effect. A handling charge may be attached to some orders, please ask about this.
There is no guarantee that the copying will be carried out before you leave the Archives Centre, in which case they will be sent electronically or posted to you.
We can also provide high resolutions/publication quality scans of images/documents as 24 bit Tiffs at up to 400 dpi for A3 documents and up to 600 dpi for A4 documents. For unusual items, including larger than A3 and fragile bound volumes, it will be necessary for the images/documents to be reproduced by an external supplier. As a result the charges may be higher and orders may take several weeks. As above, copyright restrictions apply.
The Archives Centre does not charge for admission or for advice on its holdings. While the Archives Centre does not offer a research service as such, it does reserve the right to charge for any research that it agrees to undertake. Current rates are available on request. Personal data supplied in the course of an enquiry will be kept within Churchill College and may be used for administrative purposes within the terms of the Data Protection Act (1988).
Detailed catalogues to the majority of our collections are available online from the Full Guide to the archives, while other guides are also available in the collections area of our website. Printed versions of our catalogues are also available at the Archives Centre.
Churchill College is situated some way from the centre of Cambridge. Meals may be purchased in the Dining Hall and a range of hot drinks and snacks is available in the Buttery.
Visitors to the Archives Centre may be able to stay in College though generally this facility is only available outside term time. Archives visitors will be asked to pay at the Porters' Lodge upon arrival.
Churchill College is also home to the award-winning Møller Centre, a conference centre which offers excellent accommodation facilities.
Some of the other Cambridge colleges also offer bed and breakfast accommodation and details can be obtained from
while further details of local accommodation can be obtained from