Estelle and Melvin Gelman LibraryEckles Library at the Mount Vernon CampusVirginia Science and Technology Campus Library

The National Churchill Library and Center

mockup of the new Churchill Center

The George Washington University has formed a philanthropic partnership with the Chicago-based Churchill Centre to establish the National Churchill Library and Center at GW. Housed on the first floor of the Estelle and Melvin Gelman Library, this will be the first major research facility in the nation’s capital dedicated to the study of Winston Churchill.

As both scholar and statesman, Winston Churchill is an inspiring figure for his leadership and his diplomacy. The new Center, through its collections, interdisciplinary academic programs, and educational exhibits, will offer GW students, faculty, researchers, and the public the opportunity to examine the life and legacy of Churchill. The Churchill Centre has pledged $8 million to fund:

  • Facilities - $2 million (estimate)
  • Endowed Professorship of 20th Century British History - $2.5 million
  • Endowed Curatorship of the Library and Center - $2.5 million
  • Collection and Programming Endowment - $1 million

The National Churchill Library and Center will open in stages beginning in 2015. To learn more about how to support this important initiative, please contact the Office of Development (202) 994-1154.

Greetings from the Vice Provost for Libraries

Dear Visitor,

I hope you are as excited as we are about our partnership with the Churchill Centre to create the first center devoted to the study of the life and legacy of Sir Winston Churchill in our nation’s capital. The planned National Churchill Library and Center (NCLC), which will be located on the first floor of GW’s Estelle and Melvin Gelman Library, closely aligns with the university’s new, bold strategic plan. This plan, entitled ‘Vision 2021: A Strategic Plan for the Third Century of The George Washington University’, was approved by the Board of Trustees at its May 2013 meeting. Designed to help transform the university over the next decade, the strategic plan focuses on four key areas that will strengthen our existing programs and direct us as we develop innovative programs to meet the needs of an evolving world.

Strategic Plan Pillar 1: innovation through cross-disciplinary collaboration

At GW, we believe that cross-disciplinary collaboration is crucial to developing new approaches to academic research. The National Churchill Library and Center will engage disciplines from across campus, including public policy, international affairs, education, law, and history, to explore the life and legacy of Sir Winston Churchill. This interdisciplinary approach will be supported by the NCLC’s rich collections as they grow, and will inspire and support original scholarship about Churchill’s leadership and role in world history.

Strategic Plan Pillar 2: globalization of our e​ducational and research programs

Globalization of our academic programs is necessary as we prepare our students for the rapid change of the 21st century. The forthcoming NCLC will add a global perspective, bringing the study of modern British, trans-Atlantic and world history to the forefront for our undergraduate and graduate students. The Center and its endowed curator, in collaboration with the endowed faculty position in 20th century British history, will actively coordinate programming throughout the academic year, including exhibitions, lectures, and symposia. Leveraging our location in the heart of Washington, D.C., we will engage policymakers, diplomats, and historians to participate with the goal of inspiring members of the GW community and beyond to consider the relevance of the lessons learned from Churchill’s example to the challenges facing the world today.

Strategic Plan Pillar 3: expansion of our programs that focus on governance and policy in the public and private sectors

GW is known around the world for our programs centered on public policy and international affairs. Just blocks away from the Department of State, the Capitol, the White House, and innumerable government agencies and nonprofit organizations, we are located in the thick of the action. Our world class faculty includes former ambassadors, congressmen, and senior staff from agencies ranging from the Central Intelligence Agency to the Federal Reserve Board. The National Churchill Library and Center will support these highly-regarded academic programs and provide our students and faculty with a collection of print and electronic resources that will enable them to analyze not only the impact of Churchill and his actions, but also his diplomacy and leadership skills.

Strategic Plan Pillar 4: infusing the ideas of citizenship and leadership into everything we do

GW claims as its namesake the nation’s first president. In deference to that vital legacy, and George Washington’s enduring impact, educating the next generation of leaders is a crucial part of our mission as an educational institution. GW attracts students who want to change the world. We give them the tools to accomplish their goals. The NCLC will enable us to integrate the topic of leadership throughout our academic programs as we educate the next generation of citizen-leaders.

As a center for interdisciplinary academic inquiry, the NCLC will find an ideal home in the GW Libraries. As we create the National Churchill Library and Center, we invite you to partner with us in this endeavor. Please consider making a gift today: While we have made progress in establishing a small reading collection by and about Winston Churchill, your support will enable us to acquire the quality and scope of academic research materials needed to foster scholarly inquiry, provide for the preservation and storage of the collection, and develop exhibits to inspire and engage students. For more information, please contact us at 202-994-8928 or We look forward to welcoming you to campus soon to celebrate the opening of this landmark research center!


Geneva Henry
Vice Provost for Libraries