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The College congratulates Director of the Churchill Archives Centre, Allen Packwood BA, MPhil (Cantab), who has been recognised in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours with an OBE for services to archives and scholarship. This follows Allen’s instrumental role in organising a programme of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s death in 2015.
Allen is a Fellow of the College, the Director of the Churchill Archives Centre, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He is a qualified archivist and has worked at the Churchill Archives Centre since September 1995, succeeding Dr Piers Brendon as Acting Keeper in 2001, before being appointed Director in 2002. Allen was co-curator of Churchill and the Great Republic, a Library of Congress exhibition, which ran from February–July 2004, and of Churchill: The Power of Words a display at the Morgan Library in New York from June till September 2012.
The Order of the British Empire recognises those who have made significant contributions to the arts and sciences, charitable and welfare organisations and public service. Commenting on his award, Allen said:
“Like all recipients I feel honoured, delighted and surprised in equal measure. I would certainly not be receiving this award without the support of all my wonderful colleagues in the Archives Centre, College and University.”
Allen has also organised many events and lectures, including the successful conference on The Cold War and its Legacy staged over two days at Churchill College in November 2009, and attended by senior representatives from China, Germany, Roumania, the Russian Federation and the United States. He also helped to organise Churchill 2015, a programme of events commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Sir Winston’s death, and was successful in getting the Churchill archive inscribed on the UNESCO international register for the Memory of the World.
He is the author of several articles, co-wrote the publication accompanying the Library of Congress display, edited the guide to the Churchill Archives Centre, and has lectured extensively on Churchill in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Allen’s job has taken him to Bermuda, Cuba, Singapore, Hong Kong and in 2011 he accompanied Celia Sandys and Lady Soames on a Chasing Churchill Mediterranean Cruise.
The Churchill Archives Centre is located in the grounds of Churchill College, and is home to the papers of Sir Winston Churchill, Baroness Thatcher, Sir John Major and almost six hundred of their contemporaries: politicians, diplomats, civil servants, military leaders and scientists of the Churchill era and beyond and is still collecting.