Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Winston Churchill Collection, 1889-1956

Duane Norman Diedrich Collection

Finding aid created by
Emma Lawton and Meg Hixon, October 2011

Summary Information
Title: Winston Churchill collection
Creator: Diedrich, D. N. (Duane Norman)
Inclusive dates: 1889-1956
Extent: 11 items
The Winston Churchill collection contains 11 items related to various aspects of Churchill's life, written by Churchill, his wife, and their acquaintances. Of particular interest are Churchill's annotated notes for a speech he delivered at the University of Miami's commencement ceremonies on February 26, 1946. In his speech, Churchill discussed U.S.-British cooperation during World War II, the importance of secondary education, and the education of servicemen returning from the war.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1965, 2010. M-1372, M-4803.1-6.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Alternate Format:

One letter from the collection has been published.

Preferred Citation:

Winston Churchill Collection, Duane Norman Diedrich Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically.


Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born at Blenheim Palace, England, on November 30, 1874, to Lord Randolph Henry Spencer Churchill, later British Secretary of State to India, and his wife, Jeanette Jerome; he had one brother, John Strange Spencer-Churchill. Churchill attended Harrow School and completed his military training at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst; after his graduation, he joined the 4th Hussars, and received his commission as 2nd lieutenant. In this capacity, Churchill traveled widely, and he eventually gained fame as a war correspondent. His literary exploits during the Boer War in South Africa became particularly well known, and in 1900, he successfully won his first parliamentary seat. His political stock continued to rise throughout the following years; he served as President of the Board of Trade and as Home Secretary. In October 1911, Churchill became First Lord of the Admiralty, a post he held until forced to resign in 1915, after the disastrous battles at Gallipoli during the First World War. Throughout the 1930s, Churchill became a vocal advocate for arming the British military in light of developments within Nazi Germany. He returned to the war cabinet shortly after the outbreak of World War II. On May 10, 1940, Churchill became prime minister of Great Britain, a post he held until July 26, 1945. He continued his political career after the war, serving as a leader of the Conservative opposition and returning as prime minister from October 26, 1951-April 5, 1955. At this time, Churchill bowed out of politics and fell into a physical and mental decline until his death on January 24, 1965.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Winston Churchill collection contains 11 items related to various aspects of Churchill's life, written by Churchill, his wife, and a few of their acquaintances. The earliest item in the collection is a letter by Churchill's father, Randolph Spencer Churchill, relating to a request for a speech (July 11, 1889). The remainder of the items deal directly with Winston Churchill's life, including a letter written by Churchill to James B. Pond about Churchill's anticipated visit to North America in 1900 (September 11, 1900). Other material pertains to political and personal affairs, including two letters regarding historic plates sent to the Churchill family. Churchill's typed notes, with manuscript annotations, used for a commencement address he made at Miami University on February 26, 1946, concerning the U.S.-British cooperation during World War II, the importance of secondary education, and the education of servicemen returning from the war. Other items related to Churchill's activities in Miami include a printed copy of his address and two photographs of Churchill during the event. Also of interest is a letter written by architect Leo Sylvester Sullivan, who attended school with Churchill in the early 1900s. Sullivan recalled Churchill's extensive oral preparations, and remembered, "Every stuttering sentence was repeated over & over again & was altered to avoid the stutter" (July 6, 1956). See the box and folder listing below for a detailed inventory of the collection.

Subject Terms

    • Churchill, Winston, 1874-1965--Public appearances.
    • Education, Secondary.
    • Great Britain--Foreign relations--United States.
    • Great Britain--Politics and government--20th century.
    • Stuttering.
    • United States--Foreign relations--Great Britain.
    • University of Miami.
    • Veterans--Education.
    • World War, 1939-1945.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Churchill, Winston, 1874-1965.
    • Churchill, Clementine, Lady, 1885-1977.
    • Churchill, Randolph Henry Spencer, Lord, 1849-1895.
    • Churchill, Winston, 1874-1965.
    • Sullivan, Leo Sylvester.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Signatures (names)
    • Speeches.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Winston Churchill collection [series]
    Box   1  
      1889 July 11 . Randolph S[pencer] Churchill ALS to [John] Henniker Heaton; [London, England]. ( 4 pages)
    Responding to Heaton's request for Churchill to speak; refuses because of short notice and he had been previously offended by Akers Douglas & Co.
      1900 September 11 . Winston S. Churchill TLS to James B. Pond; [London, England]. ( 3 pages)
    To lecture manager, James Pond, in anticipation of his first visit to the United States and Canada. Offers preferences and suggestions. With handwritten revisions.
      1929 February 25 . [Edward George Villiers Stanley, Earl of] Derby TLS to Colonel W. H. Stott; Lancashire, [England]. ( 1 page)
    Received Winston Churchill's letter regarding the liability of Stott for demands against him by the Inland Revenue. Enclosed: February 7, 1929 letter by Churchill.
      1942 November 17 . E. M. Watson TLS to Lucie James; Whitehall, [London]. ( 1 page)
    Acknowledging the receipt of historic plates sent to Winston Churchill and Eleanor Roosevelt.
      1943 January 9 . Clementine S. Churchill TLS to Lucie James; Whitehall, [London]. ( 1 page)
    Thanking Miss James for the historic plate sent to Winston Churchill "in memory of the events of November 1942."
    Delivered   February 26, 1946 . [Winston S. Churchill] Typed speech with manuscript alterations; [Miami, Florida]. ( 15 pages)
    Speech written and delivered by Winston Churchill at the University of Miami. Acceptance of a degree as Doctor of Law. This is the copy he used at the podium, with corrections and interlineations in his own hand.
      1946 February 26 , and   1946 May . Supplemental material pertaining to Winston L.S. Churchill's speech at the University of Miami; [Miami, Florida]. ( 3 items)
    Two glossy 8"x10" photographs of Winston Churchill at the University of Miami ceremony. Reprint of Association of American Colleges Bulletin, Volume XXXII, no. 2, May 1946.
      1956 July 6 . L[eo] Sylvester Sullivan ALS to "Eva"; London, [England]. ( 4 pages)
    From architect L. Sylvester Sullivan. Mentions crayons he sent her, a holiday in France, and a letter from Barbara in Montréal. A postscript notes that around 1902 Sullivan lived in the chambers occupied by Kipling when he wrote "The Light that Failed," and that from the window he could hear Winston Churchill practicing his speeches to Parliament to overcome his stutter.
      Undated . Winston S. Churchill Autograph. ( 1 page)
    Holograph signature of Winston S. Churchill on a 1 15/16"x4.25" card.
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    This collection includes a letter written by Churchill to James B. Pond. The Clements Library owns a collection of James B. Pond papers.

    The Book Division holds the following volumes:


    Addison, Paul. "Churchill, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer (1874-1965)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.