Ex-UK PM Churchill's archives to go online

Last Updated: Thu, Jul 29, 2010 07:00 hrs

Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's vast archive - everything from school reports and wagers about his prodigious drinking to a personal copy of the "finest hour" speech - will be digitised and offered online, it will be announced today.

The Churchill Archive Trust has agreed to a deal with publisher Bloomsbury to make available more than one million items.

According to The Guardian, these include about 2,500 archive boxes of letters, telegrams, documents and photographs that are stored in Cambridge and currently viewable only by appointment.

Churchill's papers were, controversially at the time, bought for the nation from his heirs in 1995 using 12 million pounds of lottery money.

They are currently stored at the Churchill Archives Centre (CAC). After years of cataloguing and transferring them to microfilm, the next logical step was making the archives available to everyone - although not for free, said CAC's director Allen Packwood.

"It's tremendously exciting for us, as it is fulfilling what the trust was established to do in the first place. It will take the whole Churchill collection to a worldwide audience," he said. (ANI)

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