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23 December

Eleven unique archival collections, including works from the first Director of The National Portrait Gallery, a Glaswegian carpet firm, and Poet Laureate Alfred Tennyson have been awarded grants by the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives, 2009.

Administered by The National Archives, the scheme will distribute over £300,000 in the first national round of the programme. The grants provide essential funding for cataloguing without which archive collections would be inaccessible to the public.

Awarded to archives across the UK, each individual grant is estimated to last for between six and 18 months enabling the projects to explore and describe each collection in full. Some include:

The Sir George Scharf Papers - the National Portrait Gallery (£17,909)

The papers making up the collection document the birth and establishment of the Gallery and comprise institutional, personal and family records, all within the context of recording life in the high Victorian period.

The Stoddard-Templeton Design Archive - the University of Glasgow (£39,990)

James Templeton & Co and Stoddard International supplied carpets for a host of historic buildings such as Westminster Abbey, the Whitehouse and even the Titanic. The archive comprises thousands of design drawings, patterns and sketches.  

The Macmillan and Longman Archive of British Publishing (£38,165)

Letters from Alfred Tennyson, Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, Hilaire Belloc and W.B. Yeats illustrate the importance of these records in understanding the complex relationship between author and publisher.

On the awards, Melinda Haunton, Programmes Manager at The National Archives said, 'Cataloguing is a vital but often under-resourced archival practice. Addressing this priority is the origin of the grants programme. Without cataloguing, the rich potential of archives can be lost, not only to the public but also to archives themselves, as they won't know what information is in their collections. Cataloguing is the crucial first step to open up the nation's history for all to enjoy.'

Please see our press release for the full list of grants across the country (PDF, 84Kb).