The Strategy of the Churchill Archives Centre

The core objectives of the Archives Centre can be defined as follows:

  • To build on its position as one of the premier repositories in the United Kingdom for modern personal papers and to expand and diversify the range of its holdings within the existing collections development policy.
  • To ensure that it offers the best standards of preservation for the materials in its care.
  • To continue to make its archival material available to researchers at all levels, from school children to university professors, both on site in Cambridge and remotely, while retaining the core principle of free access on site, and to expand and diversify access.
  • To support the broader educational work of Churchill College and the University of Cambridge, and to preserve the College’s own institutional history.

To deliver these core objectives, the Archives Centre has the following strategic priorities for the period 2022-25:

1) Facilities: continue to provide the best facilities for access to the unique archival collections, both on site in the Archives Centre and remotely:

  • make our buildings as energy efficient and carbon neutral as possible and to maintain a suitable environment for the collections as passively as possible;
  • look at the provision of more flexible and accessible reading room spaces;
  • explore the availability of onsite classroom/ workshop space to allow us to accommodate our growing educational/academic engagement programmes;
  • meet the requirements for specialist storage and digitization for audio-visual, photographic and digital materials, installing and implementing digital preservation management system and an open access portal;
  • develop a feasibility study plan for a further physical store on the Churchill College site to allow for future expansion of our collections.

2) Collections development and processing:

  • continue to expand and to engage in collections development work, around core subject areas, whilst also dealing with existing cataloguing backlog;
  • ensure that diverse voices are collected and presented, reflecting changes in wider society, while still working within our Mission Statement;
  • preserve and catalogue collections in line with our catalogue priority schedules;
  • review past cataloguing practices and modify lists and/or produce online resources with the aim of highlighting diversity of voices within the existing collections and review historic cataloguing, removing outdated offensive terms and updating language as appropriate.

3) To continue to offer a public service and to promote the archive materials we hold to expand and diversify access to the collections, ensuring we are genuinely ‘open to all’:

  • maintain onsite public service in reading room and develop free copying and research programmes for those unable to visit in person;
  • ensure that the public service as a whole is meeting the needs of new and existing users by engaging with all stakeholders and by conducting regular assessments and reviews of user needs
  • consider fairer provision of volunteering and overseas research opportunities (including scheme with University of Fort Hare);
  • continue to engage with a variety of audiences through a wide range of outreach activities drawing on the breadth of the collections.

4) To support the broader educational work of Churchill College and the University of Cambridge, and to preserve the College’s own institutional history:

  • continue to develop academic engagement with History and related faculties in Cambridge. Develop partnership projects with academics using the Centre and promote their research through events, lectures, blogs, and social media;
  • redesign the Wolfson Foyer exhibition within Churchill College;
  • plan and stage programme of events for Archives Centre 50th anniversary as a major profile-raising event, run in conjunction with Churchill College and the Moller Institute;
  • Assist the College in its transition to new systems and ensure that electronic records are kept in accordance with departmental retention schedules.

Date: September 2023
Date of next review: October 2024