Access to the Thatcher Papers

The papers are mostly owned by the Margaret Thatcher Archive Trust, an educational charity established in 1997 to administer and care for the papers of Baroness Thatcher on behalf of the nation (Baroness Thatcher retains ownership of certain, generally more recent, classes of material). The Trust is committed to allow appropriate access to this important historical resource to all researchers. The Papers are on deposit at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge, and the Trust has sponsored the costs of a professional archivist to prepare an electronic catalogue of the archive.

Since the transfer of the Thatcher Papers to Churchill Archives Centre the Trust has agreed to the release of material which is already in the public domain, e.g. press cuttings and photographs. The Trust and Churchill Archives Centre recognise that a significant portion of the Thatcher Papers relates to Margaret Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister (1979-90) and that much of the archive will be subject to the Public Records Act and other appropriate official closures as determined by the Cabinet Office.

The Trust and Churchill Archives Centre are also committed to respecting the fair and lawful processing of personal data, as required by the Data Protection Act (1998), relating to parties mentioned directly and indirectly in the Papers. This may necessitate the closure of certain series of papers, or of items within series. In these instances all closure periods and dates of review or opening will be clearly indicated or made available on application to the Trust.

At their annual meeting in 2003, the Trustees enthusiastically endorsed the release of significant sections of the Papers dating from before May 1979. They subsequently authorised the release of her personal and political papers for 1979, the first year of her premiership, in February 2010, and more papers are opened each year.


For further information about the Thatcher Papers, please contact:

Andrew Riley
Archivist/Thatcher Papers
Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge CB3 0DS