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's contribution to the UK’s national book, manuscript and archive collections is unrivalled. It is the only UK charity focusing solely on supporting acquisitions in this area: it is the equivalent of the Art Fund for rare books, manuscripts and fine bindings.

The FNL saves our written and printed heritage by:


Giving grants for acquisitions to eligible national and non national archives, libraries and specialist collecting institutions.


Fundraising to increase the FNL's own funds for grant-giving and for some acquisitions of pre-eminent collections - most notably the Blavatnik Honresfield Library


Acting as a conduit for gifts of books and collections to institutions. This is done either directly or as part of an acceptance in lieu arrangement, as FNL is a Schedule 3 body.

Support FNL

Demand for our grants continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, placing huge pressure on our limited resources. You can help help us save our written and printed heritage by becoming a member and/or by supporting our work with a donation.

Find out about membership   Make a donation

You can read about it in Friends of the National Libraries: a short history by FNL's immediate past Chairman, Lord Egremont. To read about all grants awarded in the past year just download our Annual Report.

Image above: Map of Honeybottom Farm, Winterbourne in Chieveley, 1694. FNL grant 2018. Courtesy of Berkshire Record Office.

More about FNL

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