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

Help find Darwin's missing notebooks

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.

24 Nov 2020

The Barrie Cooke Archive

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

2019 - another record year for FNL!

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.

11 Jun 2020

Happy birthday, Charles Dickens!

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  The items acquired by the Museum include 144 handwritten letters by Dickens (25 of which are unpublished), personal items including writing implements and jewellery, original artwork by the illustrators of Dickens’s books, including George Cruikshank, John Leech, Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz), Joseph Clayton Clarke (Kyd) and Frank Reynolds, a range of unpublished manuscripts and letters written by others in Dickens’s circle and 25 books from Dickens’s own library.

7 Feb 2020

David Almond Archive online

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

Ludlow Roll on display

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

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

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.
30 Oct 2019

FNL members' visit to Winchester College

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

Great Easton Missal, c15thC

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

2018: a record year!

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.
20 Jun 2019

Ruskin collection saved for the nation

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.

21 Mar 2019
FNL, PO Box 4291, Reading, Berkshire, RG8 9JA | Registered Charity No. 313020
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