Over the last few years, we have received quite a number of new archives from members of the Churchill family: a box of photographs here, an album there, and even an imposing tin deed box stuffed full to the top with letters and other papers. While this material was still coming in, it was difficult to assign it to any one collection, but now we have (we hope) reached an ending, and these exciting new additions to the Churchill Archives can be made available. All in all, we have added 35 boxes to our collections: some going into the Broadwater Collection of Churchill family papers, and some going into the papers of Churchill’s son Randolph, as they relate directly to him.
There are too many highlights to mention, but some of my particular favourites are: a set of plays by Churchill’s indefatigable mother, Lady Randolph Churchill; a letter from Churchill in 1898 describing the Battle of Omdurman; packets of baby hair, including some very red hair which we think must be from Churchill himself; and a letter from John Churchill, later the Duke of Marlborough, secretly offering his services to William of Orange in 1688, during the Glorious Revolution. It has been a bit tricky pulling all these new additions together, particularly as quite a lot of material had been temporarily put into our Churchill Additional collection, and had to be taken out again, but with all the new Churchill resources which are now available, it’s well worth it!
– Katharine Thomson