Image: John Ruskin's 'Gothic Book' notebook, 1850. Courtesy of The Ruskin, Lancaster University.

Help find Darwin's missing notebooks

24 November 2020

Cambridge University Library has announced a public appeal for help in locating two missing notebooks, one of which contains Charles Darwin’s iconic 1837 ‘Tree of Life’ sketch.

The Barrie Cooke Archive

15 November 2020
Pembroke College, Cambridge, has acquired the archive of Barrie Cooke, an artist whose closest friends were Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney.

2019 - another record year for FNL!

11 June 2020

The Friends of the National Libraries' latest annual report gives details of the 47 grants that were awarded during the year.  The short essays on each grant are rich in fascinating detail about the items acquired and their context.  The grants awarded by FNL came to a grant total of £299,846 - the highest in our history. In addition two generous charitable foundations gave £281,000 through FNL as further contributions to help The Ruskin - Library, Museum and Research Centre at Lancaster University acquire the immense and pre-eminent Ruskin Whitehouse collection.  These brought to the total grants awarded during the year to over half a million pounds.

Happy birthday, Charles Dickens!

7 February 2020

On what would have been Dickens's 208th birthday The Charles Dickens Museum has acquired 300 items from the most substantial private collection of Dickens material in the world, with the help of FNL and other funders.  The items acquired by the Museum include 144 handwritten letters by Dickens (25 of which are unpublished), personal items including writing implements and jewellery, original artwork by the illustrators of Dickens’s books, including George Cruikshank, John Leech, Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz), Joseph Clayton Clarke (Kyd) and Frank Reynolds, a range of unpublished manuscripts and letters written by others in Dickens’s circle and 25 books from Dickens’s own library.

David Almond Archive online

1 December 2019
The archive was acquired with FNL support and selected parts are now digitised and freely accessible.

Ludlow Roll on display

4 November 2019
Acquired and digitised with FNL support, the Ludlow Roll is now on display until January 2020

Judge’s copy of "Lady Chatterley’s Lover" acquired by University of Bristol

30 October 2019
The copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover used by the judge in the landmark obscenity trial of 1960 has been acquired by the University with FNL's help.

FNL members' visit to Winchester College

22 October 2019
Read about the fascinating visit by FNL members to Winchester College

Great Easton Missal, c15thC

22 September 2019
Acquired (1931) and digitised (2017) thanks to FNL support

2018: a record year!

20 June 2019
In 2018 FNL awarded over 50 grants to a total value of just under £300,000 - the highest in any year since FNL was founded in 1931.

Ruskin collection saved for the nation

21 March 2019

On 19th March 2019, at a reception in London, the Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University announced the purchase of the Whitehouse Ruskin Collection. This purchase has secured for the nation an unparalleled collection of the paintings and drawings, books and manuscripts, photographs and daguerreotypes of John Ruskin (1819–1900), the epoch-defining critic, artist, environmentalist and social thinker.

FNL, PO Box 4291, Reading, Berkshire, RG8 9JA | Registered Charity No. 313020
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