£300,000 Available to Catalogue Inaccessible Collections Across UK

The National Archives has launched its annual National Cataloguing Grants Programme to support the cataloguing of the large and growing backlog of currently un-catalogued collections in the nation’s archives.

The National Cataloguing Grants Programme has been established by The National Archives (TNA) in order to provide access to important collections which are currently archived and inaccessible to the public. Funding for the national annual grants programme has been made available from a collective of charitable trusts and foundations, including the Pilgrim Trust, the Foyle Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation and the Andrew W Mellon Foundation. In recent years, the programme has uncovered hidden treasures that have provided unique insight into the history of the nation.

Registered charities and not-for-profit organisations based in the UK are invited to apply for funding for projects of up to two years that will focus on the cataloguing of archive collections. In order to best demonstrate the vital significance of the proposed collection, applicants are advised to carefully consider the choice of material included in the application as competition in recent years has been particularly fierce.

At least £300,000 is available for the 2015 programme, and TNA is striving to secure additional funding for this – and future – rounds. As TNA does not wish to artificially constrain project development, a maximum level of funding has not been set; however, it is unlikely that any individual institution will receive more than £45,000. Innovative partnerships may however receive more. As a guide, the average grant in 2014 was £34,215.

Preference will be given to applications that:

  • Relate to the collections of greatest significance.
  • Will trigger other desirable developments or projects.
  • Form part of a strategic approach to addressing cataloguing backlogs.
  • Are planned effectively and are clearly sustainable in the long term.
  • Demonstrate clear public benefit and value for money.
  • Demonstrate why the proposed cataloguing cannot be funded through other resources.

Although partnership bids are encouraged, no institution should submit – or be a partner in – more than one bid, as this will result in all bids from that institution being deemed ineligible.

The following restrictions apply:

  • Only applications for the cataloguing of archive collections will be considered.
  • The collections to be catalogued must be accessible for primary research.
  • The cataloguing work proposed must be consistent with current national and international standards for archive description.
  • The collections to be catalogued must be held in storage accommodation that makes reasonable provision for the long-term preservation of archives.

The application process is in two parts.  Phase one requires the applicant to introduce an institution and a collection to be catalogued. Shortlisted applicants will then be invited by the end of June 2015 to submit a phase two application. Further information is available from The National Archives website.

The deadline for phase one applications is 8 May 2015 (12pm).

Source: The National Archives, 10/03/2015

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