Founded in 1931, Friends of the National Libraries saves our written and printed heritage through acquisition grants to national and regional archives, libraries and collections.
FNL has had just five Chairmen in this time: Sir Frederick Kenyon (to 1950), Lord Esher (to 1963), Lord Kenyon (to 1985), Lord Egremont (to 2018) and now Geordie Greig.
FNL's history is an illustrious one and its contribution to the UK’s national book, manuscript and archive collections is unrivalled.
Lord Egremont wrote in his Friends of the National Libraries: a short history:
Perhaps this country’s greatest contribution to western European civilisation is its literature. Rare books and manuscripts are the origin, the fount, of this. Estate and family papers provide records of our national past – of its turbulence and its continuity.
Prices of these have increased sharply so that institutions need help to buy them, particularly at this time of cuts. It is because of this that the Friends of the National Libraries exist. Now we seek more support and more members from among the many people who share our aim.
This, as Bernard Shaw understood all those years ago, is nothing less than to ensure the survival of civilisation.
You can also find most of FNL's Annual Reports online (the rest will follow soon!):