Answers to some of the most common questions about our grants and grant giving policy are set out below. If you have a question that is not covered here please do get in touch via the Contact Us section of this website and we will be happy to help.
- The National Libraries of the United Kingdom;
- University, county, local authority and other libraries;
- Record offices and archives services;
- Any museum, gallery or institution to which the public has reasonable access, and which in the opinion of the Trustees, constitutes a proper repository for a proposed acquisition.
Is there an application deadline?
No, you can apply at any time, but the Trustees consider non- urgent applications at their meetings, which are usually held in February, June and November. Urgent applications can be considered at any time.
The item I want to buy is being auctioned soon, can you help?
Yes. If a potential purchase comes up at auction at short notice, we can fast-track your application.
What can I apply for?
You can apply for a grant towards the purchase of rare printed books, manuscripts, records and archives of historical, literary, artistic, architectural, musical or suchlike interest. We will not contribute to the purchase of an item you have already bought.
How much can I apply for?
Our grants range from a few hundred pounds upwards. There is no lower or upper limit, but our available funds rarely allow us to give grants of more than £20,000.
I have no other funding available, can I still apply?
We would usually expect you to contribute to the cost from your own resources or funds raised from other grant-giving bodies, but we will consider 100% funding if you have explored other possible sources of support, eg. the V&A Purchase Grant Fund, the Art Fund, the Pilgrim Trust.
You may be applying for a grant as the first stage in a wider fundraising campaign. Please inform us of your progress and of any changes in circumstances or price. A grant from the Friends can stimulate contributions from other bodies.
- A description of the proposed acquisition, with information about its condition and provenance;
- A brief statement of its significance for your collection;
- A copy of the sale-catalogue entry if the item is to be auctioned; or if you are buying from a dealer, a copy of a dealer's catalogue entry if available.
- If you are buying from a dealer or private individual, please also state whether you have obtained, or will obtain, an independent valuation. Please state what funding you might contribute yourself, what other funding you are seeking, and the amount of the grant you are seeking from the Friends.
Can I include the cost of conservation and cataloguing in my application?
No, we only give grants towards the cost of acquisition. You can apply to the National Manuscripts Conservation Trust for grants towards conservation; the National Cataloguing Grants Scheme may be able to offer support for cataloguing.
What terms and conditions apply to the FNL's grants?
You will be required to give the following undertakings:
- That there will be reasonable public access to the acquisition
- That, if it is ever sold, a proportion of the price realised equal to the proportion of the cost met by the Friends’ grant will be paid to the Friends of the National Libraries.
- That a short account (c. 500 words) of it will be supplied before the end of the calendar year in which the grant is made for the Friends’ Annual Report, preferably by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
- That a photograph will also be supplied to the Friends, if requested, for the same purpose
- That the Friends’ help will be acknowledged in any catalogue, exhibition label or publicity material.
If my application is successful, when can I claim my grant?
You can claim your grant when the purchase has been concluded. Our auditors require proof of purchase, e.g. a copy of the vendor’s invoice. Payment will be made directly to your account by BACS, and you will need to supply your bank details when you submit your claim.
How frequently can I apply?
Eligible institutions can apply for grants as often as they wish.
Can I help the FNL?
YES! You can take out corporate membership: contact us via the membership tab of our email contact form
You can display our membership literature and collaborate with us over publicity.
We rely on you to support and promote us in any way you can. Greater awareness of the FNL will enable us to recruit more members and finance more grants. If you have any questions, please email the Hon Secretary using the email form in the Contact Us section of this website.
It will be a condition of your grant that you acknowledge the Friends' help in catalogue entries, exhibition labels and publicity material.