Regulatory announcements

Sir Winston Churchill digital archives go live

09 October 2012

Bloomsbury Publishing delivers huge, interactive educational resource

Bloomsbury Publishing ("Bloomsbury") today announced the delivery of the Churchill Archive website on the opening day of the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Bloomsbury has published the entire archive, almost one million documents, in digital format for university libraries, public libraries and schools to access on demand. The content of the archive has been made available to a global audience who will be able to study one of the largest and most important collections of primary source material of any individual leader in history.

This follows the completion of a two year digitisation process in agreement with the Sir Winston Churchill Archive Trust and Churchill Heritage (on behalf of the Churchill family), represented by Curtis Brown, London.

The new digital edition of the Churchill Archive Online transports the reader back in time and enables one to see the mass of drafts, letters, memoranda and papers passing across the desk of Winston Churchill at different phases in his long and distinguished public life. This comprehensive raft of documents, illuminating the life of Winston Churchill and the characters and events surrounding him, is accessible and searchable as never before.

It is expected that these writings will be an essential resource not just for teachers, undergraduates, historians and researchers but also those in the field of politics, business studies, linguistics and leadership as well as any member of the general public with an interest in 20th century history.

Bloomsbury has already signed agreements with several large universities which are part of consortia in the UK, US and Canada. There has also been considerable interest from schools, universities and libraries both in the UK and overseas. Even before the launch of the product, we have taken early sales from key universities and set up a considerable number of trials.

The Archive includes a wide spectrum of original documents, ranging from Winston Churchill's personal correspondence with immediate members of his family and school friends to his official exchanges with kings, presidents, politicians and military leaders, as well as the many drafts of preparatory notes for his legendary speeches. Personal items such as academic reports, receipts for purchases and cigar invoices are also on display.

The resource will be an invaluable tool for users and includes specially commissioned articles, innovative new features such Action this Day which highlights what happened or what was documented on each day of the year, and pedagogically valuable material including essays aimed at higher education students and lesson plans aimed at secondary schools. The digital archive also has are  links to additional content including contemporary newspaper articles, and speeches and a detailed search function to pinpoint individual user interests. In addition, the website contains links to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and Who's Who, thus enhancing the integration with other databases that academic customers will have subscribed to.

Dr. David B. Woolner, Senior Fellow and Hyde Park Resident Historian, Roosevelt Institute, said: "There are few figures more important to the history of the twentieth century than Winston Churchill. Making his archives accessible to scholars and students of history the world over is a crowning achievement, which will provide new generations with the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of not only Churchill, but also the tumultuous times in which he lived."

Jonathan Glasspool, Managing Director of Bloomsbury Academic said: "The distinguished Churchill Archive is the closest the UK has to a Presidential Library, and its publication online will become a landmark in 20th century historical studies. Bloomsbury's strategy is to grow our academic and specialist publishing and we are delighted to be the digital publishers of such an important collection of papers."

Allen Packwood, Director of the Churchill Archives Centre where the original papers are housed, and Secretary of the Sir Winston Churchill Archive Trust said, "The Churchill Papers are carefully preserved in the Churchill Archives Centre. Over the last few years the Sir Winston Churchill Archive Trust has worked with the Centre to facilitate wider access to this hugely significant collection. On-line publication marks an incredibly important milestone in this process, and we look forward to working with Bloomsbury on the further promotion and development of this exciting resource. It allows the collection to fulfil its true potential by enabling Churchill's words to reach a global audience once again."


For further information please visit


Notes to Editors:

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc and its wholly owned subsidiaries are the publishers of several database collections including Who's Who, QFinance, Wisden and Whitaker's Almanac.

Sir Winston Churchill Archive Trust is the charitable trust that owns the Churchill Papers Collection on behalf of the Nation. The Trustees work closely with the Director and staff of the Churchill Archives Centre to ensure that the collection is used for the advancement of the education of the public, in particular by acquiring, holding, restoring and maintaining the Churchill Archive and by making it available to scholars for the purpose of research (and publication of the useful results of such research) and as appropriate to the public for the purpose of viewing.

The Churchill Archives Centre was opened in 1973. It was built to house the personal papers of Sir Winston Churchill, and also collects the archives of Churchill's great contemporaries and great successors; the papers of politicians, diplomats, public servants, military leaders and scientists. It is also the repository for the papers of Baroness Thatcher. The Centre is located in the grounds of Churchill College, Cambridge, itself a National and Commonwealth Memorial to Sir Winston.

Churchill Heritage Ltd represents the Churchill family literary copyrights included within the Churchill Papers Collection.

The Sir Winston Churchill Archive Trust and Churchill Heritage are jointly represented in this project by Gordon Wise of Curtis Brown Group Ltd, London


For further details contact:

Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College Cambridge
Mr Allen Packwood, Director,
T (0)1223 336175; email [email protected]


For all media enquiries contact:

Pelham Bell Pottinger
Dan de Belder
T (0)20 7861 3881; email [email protected]



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