Access Restrictions

All published and printed material, including transcripts of speeches, Party political broadcasts or election addresses, General Election posters, and Party publications, is available for research.

Most unpublished and manuscript material in the Conservative Party Archive is subject to a 30-year rule so that, currently, only material up to 31st December 1989 is freely available for consultation. The general conditions applying as of 1st January 2020 are as follows:

  • Material dated up to 31st December 1989 is available for research.
  • Material from 1st January 1990 to 31st December 2004 can be viewed only with permission from Conservative Campaign Headquarters (see Access Permission Applications below for contact details).
  • Material dated after 31st December 2004 is closed.

Application may be made to view closed material dated between 1st January 1990 and 31st December 2004 via the Conservative Party Archivist who will liaise with Conservative Campaign Headquarters on readers' behalf. Please give full details of the files which you wish to consult and the reason that you require access in order to assist Conservative Campaign Headquarters in their considerations. Blanket permission to access whole series of restricted files is never given, and permission requests will only be considered for specific files on a file-by-file basis.

The papers of the 1922 Committee are subject to a 50-year rule so that, currently, only material up to 31st December 1969 is freely available for consultation. Application may be made to view material dated after 31st December 1969 by contacting the 1922 Committee directly. To do so, readers should contact: The Chairman, 1922 Committee, House of Commons, Westminster, London, SW1A OAA.

Please note: as well as the above access restrictions, certain series within the Conservative Party Archive are closed, regardless of date. This includes the papers of the the Whips' Office, Party Chairman's Office and the papers of Sir Keith Joseph. Again, it is possible to make application to view files from these series, and the relevant contact for each is provided below:

Party Chairman's Office papers and the papers of Sir Keith Joseph

The Conservative Party Archivist, Room 3.19, Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG (Tel: +44 (0) 1865 277181, Email: conservative.archives@bodleian.ox.ac.uk)

Whips' Office

The Chief Whip, House of Commons, Westminster, London, SW1A OAA

Please note: you should ensure that you have arranged the necessary permission to view any restricted access files before you visit the Library as they cannot be produced until this permission has been received. It is advisable to make any application several weeks in advance of your intended visit in order to guarantee that you receive it in time. Owing to the demands on staff time in processing restricted file access requests, a maximum of 5 restricted files only may be requested at any one time (this is an absolute number and does not increase should permission not be granted for some files).  

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