Friday, 19 April 2013

Margaret Thatcher papers

Prior to Baroness Margaret Thatcher's (1925-2013) passing this month, her personal papers from 1982 were released in March of this year. The papers are available online through the Margaret Thatcher Foundation website and physically at the Churchill Archives Centre, Church College at Cambridge University, England.

1982 was a year shaped by the Falklands War, a terrible conflict which also had a long lasting effect on Margaret Thatcher's political career . Key documents include: confirmation from the British Antarctic Survey that the Falkland Islands had been invaded and a draft of a letter to President Reagan written at a key point in the diplomatic talks which were aimed at trying to end the conflict.

Ref: AWNS-19791205-44-3, British Naval victory off the Falklands, 1918, Sir George Grey Special Collections
The entire collection of Thatcher papers were deposited by the Margaret Thatcher Archive Trust and are among the largest and most significant late twentieth century political archives in the UK. The archives contain over 1 million documents in around 3,000 archival boxes and cover the period from Margaret Thatcher's childhood to early this year. This rich content includes photos, press cuttings and audio.

Ownership of the majority of the archival papers still lies with the Margaret Thatcher Archive Trust. The trust is an educational charity established in 1997 to administer and care for the papers of Baroness Thatcher on behalf of the nation. The trust has also sponsored the cost of having the the papers catalogued and made available online.

Love or hate her, the papers of this British Prime Minister dubbed the 'Iron Lady', are an important legacy of her time in office (1979-1990), the birth of Thatchersim politics and the long lasting affect this had on the United Kingdom.

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