Be Still, My Beating Heart! Churchill Archives to Go Online!


Of all the blessings of the Internet age, online historical archives are very high on my list. I’m slightly worried about the potential for losing months of my life, though, when the site goes live in 2012.

The Churchill Archive Trust has agreed a deal with publisher Bloomsbury to make available more than 1m items. These include about 2,500 archive boxes of letters, telegrams, documents and photographs that are stored in Cambridge and currently viewable only by appointment.

Without the magnificent online Thatcher archives, I couldn’t have written my book about her. I would never have been able to afford to spend months in Cambridge, where the originals are stored. Even if you’re not a professional historian or biographer, these archives are fascinating, and if you’re trying to come to a judgment about a historical figure, there’s no substitute for looking at the archival evidence on your own. Have a look through any random page of the Thatcher Foundation archives–you’ll see what I mean.

That’s not safe for work, by the way, in the sense that if you start, you’ll get no further work done today.

Today’s Ricochet challenge: How long does it take you to find an interesting fact about Thatcher that somehow has never been reported in the news or in any book you’ve read? Have a look and report back.

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive

    I recently visited Churchill’s war rooms, which are preserved exactly as they were when WWII ended. The rooms are located in the basement of a government building on King Charles Street in the center of London. They are part of an excellent museum devoted to Churchill’s life, which is a must-see for all visitors to the U.K.

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Member

    Good news, but this is like announcing that an announcement is coming. Please post again when the site actually goes live, or I’ll never remember.

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