If you have a question about the Churchill Archive, or would like to know how to make the best use of the extensive catalogue of documents, please take a look below for detailed help and advice.

What is the Churchill Archive?

The Churchill Archive is a unique resource that brings nearly 800,000 documents amassed by Winston S. Churchill throughout his life online for the first time.

To complement the core content, the Churchill Archive will offer an expanding range of additional materials,including pedagogical resources and secondary materials, plus editorially-selected links to other resources, video and audio content, and biographical and bibliographic databases.

Are these the same papers that are deposited at Churchill College, Cambridge?

Yes. However, we have produced additional materials in separately designated areas under teaching resources, exhibitions and elsewhere that complement and enhance the collection.

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How was the taxonomy created?

The taxonomy for the Churchill Archive was developed by a dedicated team within Bloomsbury Publishing, with advice from the Churchill Archives Centre, using the existing catalogue as the driver. It comprises four facets:

  • Period: The dates of the documents in the archive are both presented and grouped, broadly to coincide with the stages of Churchill's life and career;
  • People: The text of the catalogue was mined to identify individuals mentioned ten times or more, taking into account pseudonyms and titles;
  • Place: Again, the text of the catalogue was mined to identify places mentioned ten times or more, which have been grouped into a hierarchy from the most granular (e.g. districts within London) to the most general (i.e. continents); where places are now known by different names, the name most commonly represented in the archive is presented as the main form;
  • Topics: This is the most ‘tailor-made’ part of the taxonomy and represents the broad sweep of what the archive is about. Although Churchill is present as a topic in his own right, the other facets demonstrate that the archive concerns much more than just one man, and we have used the text and classifications of the catalogue to help us map topics to documents.

Who compiled the catalogue?

The Churchill Papers have been catalogued in a project involving five archivists lasting over six years at the Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge. It contains over 70,000 entries.

Why don’t all the items have individual references?

The cataloguing structure reflects the way the physical papers are arranged and stored. There are almost 3,000 boxes containing files and each file can itself contain many documents. It was simply not possible to catalogue every document. Key sections of the collection have been catalogued in detail (ie at document level) and many have extensive descriptions that provide additional insight into the context of the document. The entire collection has been catalogued.

What's the difference between CHUR and CHAR?

The whole collection is now commonly known as the Churchill Papers, but historically it has been divided into two distinct groups.

  • The papers dating from before 27 July 1945, when Churchill’s first term as Prime Minister ended, are known as the Chartwell Papers (catalogue reference CHAR).
  • The papers dating from after 27 July 1945 (catalogue reference CHUR) are known as the Churchill Papers.

The reasons for the division and the names is explained in greater detail at:


Does this product include a subscription to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and Who Was Who?

No, you may access these resources only if your institution is a subscriber. Users who do not subscribe to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography will, however, see a page for the referenced subject from the Oxford Biography Index.

Where are the archives held? Can I visit and see them?

The Churchill Archives Centre was built to house the personal papers of Sir Winston Churchill and was opened in 1973. It 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 the National and Commonwealth Memorial to Sir Winston. For more information, including details of how to book a visit to Churchill Archives Centre, see the link below.


Who owns the actual papers in the Archive?

The 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 publishing the useful results of such research) and as appropriate to the public for the purpose of viewing.

Who owns the copyright in the documents in the collection?

For the purposes of Churchill Archive published by Bloomsbury, the copyrights held by the Churchill family, including the writings of Sir Winston Churchill, are managed by Churchill Heritage Ltd. To apply for permission to use Churchill material in other publications, media or other public uses, please visit curtisbrown.co.uk. All other copyright material is owned by the original copyright owner or their heirs and assigns, and must be cleared with them prior to publication in other publications, formats or media. Bloomsbury has made every effort to obtain copyright clearance prior to publication of the Churchill Archive. For further details see our copyright information page. Where online rights to papers held in Cambridge are unavailable, many of the catalogue entries include a detailed description of the missing document.

Why is an image unclear?

The images have been digitised from microfilm. The microfilming process itself can cause a reduction in contrast which can distort the digitised image. If you are having a problems with a specific document please contact us at: churchillarchive@bloomsbury.com.

The document I am looking at is not transcribed. Will a transcript be available in the future?

Many of the documents are typeset or typewritten and are easily legible. However, others are not. And many have handwritten annotations that are of immense interest. We’ve begun a transcription program and the documents referred to in the first two higher education modules and secondary school lesson plans have been transcribed and tagged.

If there are specific documents you’d like us to add to our transcription programme please contact us at: churchillarchive@bloomsbury.com

How do I submit a comment or correction?

Please send us an email at: churchillarchive@bloomsbury.com 

How do I keep up to date with new content and features?

Join our mailing list here

How do I download documents?

Click on the page icon with an arrow at the top of the document you want to download. This will provide you with the option to download just the current image or a selection of images*. Choose which documents you want to download and click the 'download' button.

*Please note that you can download a maximum of 25 images at a time.

How do I subscribe to the Churchill Archive?

Subscriptions and perpetual access offers are open to libraries. Please encourage your school, academic institution or public library to subscribe. For more details, take a look at our Contact Us page.

Can I purchase the Churchill Archive Online?

Yes, you can purchase on a perpetual access model which means you will have access to the Churchill Archive Website in perpetuity and the only additional costs will be for updates or additional content.

Is it possible to have a free trial?

Yes, please take a look at our Contact Us page for information on trials and pricing.

Are discounts available to consortia and consortia members?

Yes, we have made arrangements with a number of national consortia. For information contact: churchillarchive@bloomsbury.com

Can my library subscribe to just part of the content?

No. Once you’ve enjoyed browsing around the Archive you’ll understand why we decided to keep it intact.

Can schools access the Churchill Archive?

The complete Churchill Archive is available free of charge to primary schools, secondary schools and sixth form colleges worldwide. Click here to register for access.

My library is a subscriber but I can’t access the Churchill Archive. What should I do?

a) Please verify that you have submitted your library's signed subscriber agreement to us. All new subscriptions require a signed license agreement on file that has been verified prior to activating service.

b) Please check that we have your library's most current IP address information on file. Administrators can verify account details by visiting this page. You will need an administrative login. If you have lost or forgotten your administrative password, please contact us at churchillarchive@bloomsbury.com.

c) If your library's IP information has changed, please contact us at churchillarchive@bloomsbury.com to report the new address(es) or to update IP information currently registered.

d) Your library's access may have expired or been placed on hold if we have not received your subscription payment or if your free trial has expired. It is customary for us to contact subscribers before a renewal/anniversary date or trial expiration. For further assistance, please contact us.

My library does not appear to have a subscription for the Churchill Archive. How can I gain access?

Please encourage your librarian to contact us for a range of pricing options for the Churchill Archive. Our contact details are all on our Contact Us page.

Access for Institutional Subscribers

If you have entered an incorrect username or password or no longer have an active subscription. Please contact us at: churchillarchive@bloomsbury.com

Is the Churchill Archive accessible through Athens/Shibboleth?

Yes, please ask your librarian or administrator for details.

I have forgotten my username and password

If you are using access information provided by your library, please contact your librarian or administrator for library access information.

Are usage statistics available?

COUNTER usage statistics are available on a monthly basis to subscribing institutions and library consortia.

How do I access my institution’s statistics?

Please visit this page. Your administrative login will be required. If you have lost or forgotten your administrative login, please contact us.

How can I view or update my subscription record?

Please visit this page. Your administrative login will be required. If you have lost or forgotten your administrative login, please contact us.

How can I get a mailing address and other contact details for Churchill Archive enquiries?

Full contact details are below.

Email: churchillarchive@bloomsbury.com
Postal Addresses:

For the U.K. and Rest of World:
Attn: Bloomsbury Publishing
50 Bedford Square

For North America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean:
Attn: Bloomsbury Publishing Inc.
1385 Broadway, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10018

For India:
Attn: Bloomsbury Publishing India Pvt. Ltd.
DDA Complex, LSC , Building No.4,
Second Floor, Pocket C-6&7, Vasant Kunj
New Delhi 110070

For Australia and New Zealand:
Attn: Bloomsbury Publishing Pty Ltd.
Level 4, 387 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000

For more information in this area, please visit Subscriber Services.

Is the site accessible to visually impaired users?

The Site conforms to level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Which browsers are compatible with Churchill Archive?

• Firefox 35 and later
• IE 10 and later
• Safari 7 and later
• Chrome 40 and later

Is the Churchill Archive OpenURL compliant?

Yes, the site is compliant with the 0.1 OpenURL specification. To enable this feature for your institution, please access your account information here. Your institution will need to have an OpenURL resolver.

What is Churchill Archive for Schools?

Churchill Archive for Schools is a free resource aimed at students and teachers. It provides an expanding range of classroom-ready resources specially written and developed by leading history educators to support the teaching of History at secondary and sixth form level.
Resources are based around four broad themes covering modern British, empire and world history. Within these themes, ‘investigations’ in the form of challenges and questions have been prepared to introduce students to the archive sources. Teachers’ notes are available for each investigation, along with additional guidance and advice.
The themes are:
  • Key developments in modern British and empire history
  • Key developments in modern world history
  • Anglo-American relations in the twentieth century
  • Churchill: discussion, debate and controversy

Can schools also access the full Churchill Archive?

Yes, the complete Churchill Archive is available free of charge to secondary/high schools and sixth form colleges worldwide. To gain full access to the Churchill Archive, you’ll need to register here.

I’m a School – is having full access to the main Archive a prerequisite to using Churchill Archive for Schools?

No, the Churchill Archive for Schools uses carefully curated documents that are directly relevant to secondary/high school curricula. It offers an introduction to the main Archive’s resources in a structured way, with explanations of how to interpret and use the documents. This means you don’t need access to the main Archive to use the schools resources. However after using and familiarising yourself with it, you may want sign up to use the main Archive for further research.

I’m a Higher Education Institution – why should I purchase / subscribe to the Churchill Archive when a huge number of documents contained in the archive are freely accessible via the Schools resource?

The Churchill Archive for Schools offers a relatively small taster of the 800,000 documents contained in the main Archive, which is a digital resource designed for the study of modern international history in higher education.  Furthermore, the Churchill Archive includes an expanding range of curated materials including essays, specially written by experts in the field and designed around modules that appear in higher education courses internationally. It also offers overviews of key topics, focusing on broader areas of research and study, with links to rich selections of files and documents from the Archive.

What is MyArchive?

MyArchive is a free service that allows you to create your own personalised area to save your searches and favourite documents.

How do I sign up?

Register for a MyArchive account here. If you have access to the Churchill Archive please login to this first so you can access all the documents.

Click here to sign in to your MyArchive account.

Why can’t I access all of the documents?

To access all of the documents on the site you must have access to the Churchill Archive as part of a Schools, Institutional or Individual subscription and be logged in before registering or signing into your personalised MyArchive account. Select the appropriate login option here.

If you don’t have access to the Churchill Archive, you can still create a MyArchive personalised area but the documents available to you will be limited to those that are publicly available.

How do I favourite documents?

To favourite a document click the star icon to the top right of the document page. You will then be able to see it in your MyArchive area which can be accessed through the top navigation bar.

How do I save searches?

Click the “save this search” button that appears underneath your search text when you are viewing the results. You will then need to name it for your own reference as the title is what will appear on your MyArchive page. You will then be able to see it in your MyArchive area which can be accessed through the top navigation bar.