July 6, 2016

Announcing the Completion of Phase I of the National Churchill Library and Center in Washington, DC

Churchill Friends: Over three decades ago, a small group of Churchill Centre members set forth an ambitious dream:

The creation of a new headquarters in Washington, DC to provide a substantial permanent home for Churchill studies in the heart of our nation’s capital.

Despite the passage of years, the dream did not die – but the financial, practical and organizational

challenges were formidable and made it seemingly beyond our reach. Yet we knew that to fulfil our mission to, in the words of Churchill’s daughter Lady Soames, “keep the memory green” and also ensure the continuing relevance of his legacy, we simply had no choice but to “never, never, never, never give in….”

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Thus, it gives us great satisfaction to tell you that we have recently completed Phase I of the Capital Campaign for the new National Churchill Library and Center at George Washington University (the NCLC.) It is with enormous pleasure to announce the buildout of its permanent home in the University’s Gelman Library will be completed this summer with a grand opening to coincide with the 33rd International Churchill Conference in Washington, DC October 27-29.

This new facility includes all the elements we have longed for so many years:

  • A major collection of books and other material by and about Churchill.
  • Free digital access to the Churchill Archives at Churchill College Cambridge, an essential tool for the study of Churchill’s life. • A custom-designed reading room and library to accommodate students, teachers and scholars from Washington, all of America and around the world.
  • The beginnings of an important research collection, highlighted by Churchill’s Second World War Engagement Diary Cards, the only contemporaneous record of his day-to-day activity from 1939 to 1945. This complete collection has never before been available to the public or scholars and the originals will be supplemented by hi-res digital scans posted online. • State of the art exhibit space for temporary and permanent displays highlighting Churchill’s life and the continuing relevance of his legacy.
  • A 15-foot wide touch screen media wall for interactive exhibits, presentations and other hi-tech applications.
  • Office space for the permanent Director of the NCLC and Executive Director of The Churchill Centre and for visiting scholars and researchers. An international search for the right candidate to fill this important position is underway.
  • Above all, a location in the heart of our nation’s capital a block from a Metro station, walking distance to the State Department, and easily accessible to students and teachers from around the country, to professionals in the diplomatic and policy communities and elected and appointed government officials.

Thanks to the generosity of so many of our members and friends, we have raised in excess of $3.5 million to cover the cost of the space as well as provide for several years of future operations. This includes a leadership commitment of $1.0 million from the Centre’s Chairman, Laurence Geller CBE.

Additionally, as part of our effort to expand our all-important educational activities, we have raised $1 million for a new Churchill learning program permanently available free to secondary schools throughout the world. This exciting new initiative will provide lesson plans and programs custom developed by Bloomsbury Publishing and will include open access to the incredible resources of the digital Churchill Archives.

We are deeply grateful for the confidence and support of Churchillians around the world, including members of the Churchill family and important Churchill organizations. Without you and them, our success to date would have been impossible. We especially appreciate the generosity of people who have not previously been involved with Churchill activities but have a deep belief in the need for a permanent home for Churchill studies in our nation’s capital and increasing importance and relevance of the lessons learned from the wide-ranging life of Sir Winston Churchill.

While we are delighted by our progress, there is more to do, as we launch Phase II of our Campaign. This includes three key elements:

  • $1,000,000 to endow a program fund to support a robust schedule of lectures, conferences, symposia, publications, research grants and other activities.
  • $1,000,000 for the next phase expansion of the facility, including dedicated street-level public access.
  • $2,500,000 to permanently endow the Director position, so that our future fundraising can concentrate on education and programming.

Now is the time your financial assistance can have the maximum impact as we strive to ensure that the legacy of the Great Man remains vital and relevant, for our generation and beyond. During WWII, Churchill would attach a note to time-sensitive communications, bearing the simple words “Action This Day”. We urge you to heed his admonition by being as generous as you can in your support. In short, we need your help and we need it now.

You can donate by clicking on this link or by calling our office at +1 202-929-0309.


As you consider this request, please remember a relevant Churchill quote:

Those who serve supreme causes must not consider what they can get but what they can give.

We have a clear mission, a great plan, we know what needs to be accomplished and we are ever mindful of Churchill’s admonition “It is no use saying, “We are doing our best.” You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.” “Give us the tools and we will finish the job.”

With sincere gratitude and asking you to “Give us the tools and we will finish the job.”

Laurence Geller CBE, Chairman
Lee Pollock, Executive Director

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