The Friends of the National Libraries is a registered charity that was founded in 1931. Its purpose is to help libraries in the United Kingdom acquire books, manuscripts and archives, in particular those that might otherwise leave this country.
Since then, the Friends have helped in the purchase of printed books, manuscripts, records and archives of historical, literary, artistic, architectural, musical or suchlike interest. Libraries which can receive grants include the British Library, the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales and any university, county, local authority and other library, record office, museum or gallery to which the public has access, and which in the opinion of the Trustees, constitutes a proper repository for a proposed acquisition.
The FNL does this by:
- giving grants for acquisitions to eligible institutions which apply for a grant;
- eliciting and channelling benefactions; and
- organising appeals and publicity.
This website tells you about the history and work of the FNL, you can also find out how to apply for a grant from the FNL and search our database of past grants to find out more about the thousands of items and collections that have been acquired with our help. Our funds are limited and are heavily over-subscribed, we would welcome your support: through this website you can either make a donation to the FNL or you can join the FNL as a Member.