Churchill Archives Centre

Winston Churchill, c 1945
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The Churchill Archives Centre was purpose-built in 1973 to house Sir Winston Churchill's Papers - some 3000 boxes of letters and documents ranging from his first childhood letters, via his great war-time speeches, to the writings which earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature. They form an incomparable documentary treasure trove.

The Churchill Papers served as the inspiration and the starting-point for a larger endeavour - the creation of a wide-ranging archive of the Churchill era and after, covering those fields of public life in which Sir Winston played a personal role or took a personal interest. Today it holds the papers of some 570 important figures and the number is still increasing.

The Archives Centre is situated within the grounds of Churchill College, itself the National and Commonwealth Memorial to Sir Winston. It includes air-conditioned reading rooms, a strong room with elaborate security systems, and a sophisticated conservation laboratory and a sorting room in which raw history is put into boxes.

A recent acquisition of major significance is the collection of Lady Thatcher's personal and political papers. Thus the Churchill Archives Centre is the British equivalent of not one but two of the great American presidential libraries - a unique distinction.

The entire collection of this Archives Centre is a Designated Collection of national importance.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Mon - Fri 9.00-17.00
Closed: Sat, Sun, public holidays

Admission charges

Free. By appointment.

Additional info

Open to the public by appointment only.

The entire collection of the Churchill Archives Centre is a Designated Collection of national importance.

The collection comprises papers of leading politicians, diplomats, civil servants, military commanders and scientists of the ‘Churchill Era’ and beyond. This collection is of international significance and is essential to the study of 20th century history. It represents individuals from across the political spectrum.

Collection details


Key artists and exhibits

  • Winston Churchill
  • Margaret Thatcher
  • Neil Kinnock
  • Lord Hailsham
  • Modern political papers
  • Modern scientific papers
Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Churchill Archives Centre collections webpages

Online guides to Churchill Archives Centre's collections.

Churchill Archives Centre education webpages

Online educational resources available from Churchill Archives Centre.

Churchill Archives Centre image gallery

Online images from the archives.

The Churchill Era Online Educational Resource

On the Churchill Archives Centre education website you can access some of the unique holdings of Churchill Archives Centre, and learn about some of the great events that shaped the modern world, from the cataclysmic upheaval of World War I to the build up to World War II. Try out our exercises on the Churchill Era, and discover more about people, places and events in the Glossary section. There is also further information for Teachers, including GCSE History resources.
Many of our catalogues are available online, and we also have a useful guide on using original sources.

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College


The Churchill Papers catalogue



01223 336087


01223 336135

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.