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How can I find funding for conservation?

For general advice please refer to the booklet: Making the most of funding opportunities for preservation and conservation projects (PDF format, 106 KB)

You may be eligible to apply for funding from one of the following schemes:

The National Manuscripts Conservation Trust (NMCT)

Established in 1990 by the British Library and the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts the NMCT is the only UK grant-giver that focuses solely on the care and conservation of manuscripts in the UK. It gives grants to:

  • Record offices and libraries in the UK that offer public access and are not directly funded by the government, including local authorities universities and specialised record repositories,
  • Owners of manuscripts and archives resident in the UK where the collections are conditionally exempt from capital taxation or which are owned by a charitable trust. In these cases adequate public access must be provided.

Grants are towards the cost of repair, binding and conservation, including reprograph, of manuscripts which in the opinion of the Trustees are of historic or educational value and towards the cost of first stage listing but not for capital cost or equipment. Projects which are solely digitisation are not eligible for our support.

The Pilgrim Trust

The Pilgrim Trust's aim is to preserve and promote Britain’s historical and intellectual assets and to provide assistance to vulnerable members of society. It does this by supporting projects where our funds will make the greatest impact. It is also interested in projects where charities are having difficulty in raising funds from other sources. It concentrates its funding into two areas, Preservation and Scholarship and Social Welfare. Priorities for Preservation and Scholarship include the conservation of works of art, books, significant ephemera, museum objects and records associated with archaeology, historic buildings and the landscape, and the promotion of knowledge through academic research and its dissemination, including cataloguing within museums, galleries and libraries and institutions where historic, scientific or archaeological records are preserved.

Research Resources

The Wellcome Trust's Research Resources grant scheme aids research by supporting projects to catalogue and preserve significant primary source collections in libraries and archives across the UK and Ireland. Project proposals are asked to highlight the research potential of collections and demonstrate their significance to the scholarly community across a wide variety of disciplines within the medical humanities and social sciences. Research Resources supports projects in libraries and archives. Printed books, archives and manuscripts, together with film and photographic materials, may be included. Born-digital datasets such as longitudinal studies can also be considered, along with projects based on the retroconversion of early computer data to more stable and user-friendly formats. Museum objects and specimens are not normally included, unless they form part of a digitisation project.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)

The Heritage Lottery Fund is the largest dedicated funder of the UK's heritage and leading advocate for the value of heritage to modern life. It sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage through innovative investment in projects with a lasting impact on people and places. More details

Further resources

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