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Learning from a Leader: The National Churchill Library & Center

The National Churchill Library and Center will offer GW students, faculty, researchers, and the public the opportunity to examine the life and legacy of Churchill.

As both scholar and statesman, Winston Churchill is a fascinating figure for his courageous leadership and his steady diplomacy in uncertain times. The GW Libraries celebrated the grand opening of the National Churchill Library and Center (NCLC), the first research center dedicated to the study of Sir Winston Churchill in our nation’s capital, on October 29, 2016. The new center’s research resources and interdisciplinary programs will offer GW students, faculty, researchers, and the public the opportunity to examine the life and legacy of Churchill.

Laurence Geller, Geneva Henry, Steven Knapp, National Churchill Museum Chairman Jean-Paul Montupet and Randolph Churchill officially open the National Churchill Library and Center.

The NCLC, launched through a philanthropic partnership between the International Churchill Society (formerly the Churchill Centre) and GW, is housed on the first floor of the Estelle and Melvin Gelman Library. A major feature is an interactive virtual exhibit for visitors to explore Churchill’s life. Researchers further have access to a small circulating collection of works by and about Churchill, the electronic Churchill Archives database, and a set of original calendar cards used by Churchill during World War II.

"We are delighted to have reached this milestone," said Geneva Henry, dean of libraries and academic innovation. "The NCLC will introduce Winston Churchill and his place in world history to the next generation of leaders. Churchill can serve as an important lens through which students can explore the concept of leadership and we are enthusiastic about the potential of this new program."

Michael Bishop, MA '94 has joined GW as the director of the NCLC, a position made possible with generous funding from Laurence Geller, CBE and the International Churchill Society. Bishop has extensive political experience, having served in several positions on Capitol Hill and in the White House. He was also the executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, a body created by Congress to plan the national celebration of the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth. While in that position, he served as a consultant on the Steven Spielberg film about the 16th president. His articles and reviews on Churchill, World War I, Lincoln, and other subjects regularly appear in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, National Review, and elsewhere.

"Michael is a wonderful addition to the initiative," said Laurence Geller, chairman of the board of the International Churchill Society. "Under his leadership, we look forward to building a robust program that inspires new scholarly interest in Winston Churchill. As WSC himself once said, 'Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.'"

For more information on the NCLC, please contact Michael Bishop.

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