The Churchill Archives Centre, which hold the papers of Sir Winston Churchill and Lady Thatcher is celebrating the inclusion of its core collection on the UK National Register of Documentary Heritage, a standard linked to the United Nations Cultural arm.

The Churchill Archive, the personal papers of Sir Winston Churchill, which contains over one million items, including originals of his best-known phrases and speeches, has been recognised by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), as part of its Memory of the World Programme.

The collection will now appear on the UK National Register, highlighting its particular importance to the heritage of Britain. Churchill is joined this year by ten other British collections of note, including Hitchcock’s Silent Movies and The Domesday Book.

“Churchill’s words continue to resonate.” said Sir David Wallace, Master of Churchill College, home to the Churchill Archives Centre and the collection. “The notes for his great speeches, the drafts for his many books, and his rich correspondence are the raw material for the study and understanding of his legacy. It has to be right that they are now included on the National Register of our Documentary Heritage.”

UNESCO’s UK Register follows the larger, International Register of Documentary Heritage established in 1997. This list contains many types of globally important documentary, from ancient clay inscriptions and writings on papyrus, to modern digital sound recordings. UK entries to the list include the 1916 film, The Battle of The Somme and The Magna Carta.

A special ceremony will take place on July 9 at the Council Chamber of Tamworth Town Hall where staff from the Churchill Archives will be presented with the award.

“We hope [the] announcement will encourage people to discover these items and collections, as well as some of the other great documentary heritage near them.” said David Dawson, Chair of the UK Memory of the World Committee.”

Images: View of the Churchill Archives Centre at Churchill College & Sir Winston Churchill working at his desk (approx 1953), courtesy of Churchill Archives Centre.