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Churchill Archives Centre

Churchill Archives Centre
Country England
Type Archive and research library
Scope Papers of Winston Churchill and other politicians
Established 1973
Location Churchill College, Cambridge
Coordinates
Website www.chu.cam.ac.uk/archives

The Churchill Archives Centre (CAC) is one of the largest repositories in the United Kingdom for the preservation and study of modern personal papers. It is best known for housing the papers of Sir Winston Churchill, the private papers of Baroness Thatcher, and a wide range of political, diplomatic, military and scientific collections, including such well-known modern personalities as: Ernest Bevin, Enoch Powell, Lord Kinnock, Sir John Colville, Lord Hankey, Admiral Lord Fisher, Field Marshal Lord Slim, Sir John Cockcroft, Sir James Chadwick, Professor Lise Meitner, Dr Rosalind Franklin and Sir Frank Whittle.

The Centre is located in the grounds of Churchill College, Cambridge, England, itself the National and Commonwealth Memorial to Churchill. It has been awarded designated status by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. It is open to the public and welcomes enquiries about its collections. Its mission is to preserve the collections in its care for future generations and to make them as accessible as possible.

Contents

  • Holdings 1
    • Collections 1.1
    • Subjects 1.2
    • Types of documents 1.3
      • People 1.3.1
      • Events and broader topics 1.3.2
  • Access 2
  • Preservation 3
  • History 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Holdings

Collections

Letter by Winston Churchill

Although it is the papers of Sir Winston Churchill that give the Churchill Archives Centre its name, this institution houses nearly 600 collections containing records of the lives of soldiers, sailors, airmen, journalists, reformers and activists, public servants, diplomats, physicists, chemists, biologists and their families.

Subjects

The wide range of the collections allows the exploration of a similarly wide range of subjects. For example, most aspects of the Second World War can be traced there, and records relating to the birth (with Churchill’s so-called Iron Curtain Speech) and death of the Cold War are stored in CAC archival boxes.

The CAC provides a valuable resource for the study of military, political and diplomatic history, and international relations, social and cultural history and the history of colonialism, labour, science, and women, particularly in a British context. There are letters, photographs, diaries and scrapbooks from families, public figures and the general public.

Types of documents

The collections at the Churchill Archives Centre include speeches, memoranda, reports, minutes, letters, postcards, diaries, appointment books, telegrams and memoirs, diagrams, maps, sketches and doodles, audio and video recordings, and photographs. The Archives Centre attempts to preserve these whilst rendering them accessible to the public. Among the figures, events and broader topics included in CAC's holdings are:

People

Politicians Scientists Diplomats & Civil Servants Military/Intelligence Various
Winston Churchill Frank Whittle Nicholas O'Conor Alexander Denniston Clementine Churchill
Margaret Thatcher Lise Meitner Percy James Grigg Jackie Fisher William Deakin
Enoch Powell John Cockcroft Alexander Cadogan William Slim William Thomas Stead
Florence Horsbrugh James Chadwick Jock Colville William Reginald Hall
Maurice Hankey Rosalind Franklin William Harold Ingram Clement Attlee
Ernest Bevin Martin Ryle Cecil Spring-Rice
Neil Kinnock Alan "Tommy" Lascelles

Events and broader topics

Political Scientific Military Various
Appeasement Jet Engine Yalta Conference Eliza Armstrong case
UK General Strike of 1926 Nuclear Fission Battle of Gallipoli Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Iron Curtain

Access

The Churchill Archives Centre is open to the public, though appointments must be made in advance to guarantee a place in the Reading Room. The aim of the Centre is to open up as much material for research as possible, but there may be closures for conservation or other reasons.

Preservation

A core policy of the Centre is to preserve archival material as far as possible for the use of present and future generations, recognising that some collections are used very heavily and others contain badly damaged items. Although most of the archive material is in the form of loose papers, it also includes large photograph albums, posters and plans, cine film, and artifacts such as one of Margaret Thatcher’s handbags. Only a small proportion of the papers are significantly damaged, but they need attention to make them usable. Many need intervention to render them chemically stable for long-term preservation. Sometimes the damage is extremely disfiguring and dramatic.

Conservation staff at the Centre undertake the following treatments to conserve damaged archive material:

  • Surface dry cleaning to remove abrasive, oily and acidic dirt;
  • Relaxation and flattening of creased and warped items;
  • Washing out acids or impurities from paper and photographs to stabilize them chemically;
  • De-acidification of acidic and brittle papers and the addition of alkaline "buffers";
  • Repairs to tears and weak areas using fine, acid-free tissues and papers and reversible adhesives;
  • Removal of pressure-sensitive tapes, mounts, and other things that can cause damage over time;
  • Stabilization of mouldy material;
  • Housing in conservation bindings.

Key to preserving the archives is the specially equipped storage facility or strongroom, which features a sophisticated fire detection system and suppresses fire using a mixture of inert inergen gases. The strongroom is monitored for insect pests and provides a stable, cool, and relatively dry environment with clean, filtered air.

The archives themselves are stored in protective packages made from high-quality, acid-free (alkaline buffered) paper and card, and sometimes inert polyester film. This provides both physical protection and a safe, non-acidic environment. Sturdy boxes are used to further shield files from light, dust, and disaster.

To maintain the physical integrity of the archives, all staff, visitors and readers are instructed on their correct handling, and the exhibition of original material is strictly controlled.

History

Churchill College began to collect papers in 1965, beginning with those of Clement Attlee. The Archives Centre was purpose-built in 1973 to house the papers of Winston Churchill. His papers relating to his life after 1945 were given to the college by his wife, but those concerning his life before 1945 remained in family ownership (though housed in the Archives Centre) until 1995, when they were bought for the nation. The grant to purchase the papers included funding for a dedicated team of archivists to catalogue them. The catalogue took a team of five archivists five years to complete. It was finished at the end of 2000 and was made available online 12 months later.[1] More recently, the Churchill Papers have been digitised.[2]

The Centre continued to collect personal papers from other figures from the fields of politics, the military, diplomacy, technology and science. By the end of the 20th century it was running out of storage space. In 1997, when Margaret Thatcher gave her papers to the Centre, funding was raised to build a new wing to house them and to enable the Centre to continue adding to its collections in the 21st century.

The Archives Centre has collaborated with organisations around the world on projects and exhibitions about Winston Churchill. A joint exhibition was held with the Library of Congress. In 2006, catalogues to all the collections except those of Churchill and Thatcher were made available on the Cambridge-based Janus webserver.[3]

See also

References


-- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p
  1. ^ The Churchill Papers Churchill College, Cambridge.
  2. ^ Bloomsbury Academic's Digital Churchill Archive
  3. ^ Janus home page

External links

  • Churchill Archives Centre home page
  • The Churchill Papers Online Catalogue
  • Bloomsbury Academic's Digital Churchill Archive
  • The Janus Online Catalogue for all other collections
  • Churchill College
  • The Churchill Centre in Washington D.C.
  • Churchill War Rooms
  • The National Archives, UK
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