Grants: The National Manuscripts Conservation Trust

The National Manuscripts Conservation Trust offers grants for the conservation and preservation of manuscripts and archives.  Since the NMCT was founded in 1990 it has awarded grants of over £3m, which have enabled the conservation of hundreds of musical, literary, architectural and other vital historical documents. Our grants ensure that these important collections can once more be made accessible to the public and researchers.

The next deadline for the submission of applications is 1st April 2019 and the results will be announced in early July. If you want to plan ahead, the deadline after that is 1st October 2019.

We welcome grant applications from non-national institutions such as county record offices, museums, university archives/special collections, cathedral archives and libraries, as well as owners of manuscripts that are exempt from capital taxation or owned by a charitable trust.

Our grants can cover conservation, binding and other preservation measures, including digitisation (providing it is part of a wider conservation project).  The significance of the collection or items to be conserved, as well as the proposed conservation treatment, are carefully reviewed by Trustees when making their decisions.

We are particularly interested in projects that have a training element (e.g. internship, enhancing skills of experienced conservators, later career conservators passing on their knowledge by supervising a younger conservator etc.). This is not mandatory for applications, but if it is possible to include a training element, we welcome it.

Recent grants awarded include:

  • Brunel Museum: Thames Tunnel Archive of Marc Isambard Brunel.
  • Southwark Local History Library and Archive: 18th C Crutchley dye books.
  • Powis Castle: Powis Castle Book of Hours (c1440-1460)
  • Brontë Parsonage Museum: conservation of 24 manuscripts by Emily Brontë and her siblings
  • University of St Andrews: Chemical manuscripts (19th century)
  • South West Heritage Trust: Correspondence (1789-1824) of Henry Addington, Viscount Sidmouth
  • Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh: conservation of the 41st Regiment’s early archive (18th century).

Applications must be submitted on our application form, which you can download from our website:   If you have any queries about whether your project is eligible or about our application process you are most welcome to contact Nell Hoare, who manages the Trust.  You can contact her either through the NMCT’s website or at

 NMCT is the only grant giver solely focused on manuscript conservation and we are keen to spread the benefit of the funding that we have available, so do consider applying.

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