Ros Kerslake CBE, Chief Executive of the National Heritage Memorial Fund said:

“We at the National Heritage Memorial Fund are delighted to have supported the campaign to save the Blavatnik Honresfield Library with £4million, the largest amount we have ever granted towards an acquisition of literary manuscripts since our formation in 1980.  This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire such an outstanding and nationally significant collection. The NHMF is a fund of last resort, and the astonishing array of manuscripts will join over 1,000 heritage treasures saved for the nation. With the Blavatnik Honresfield Library now secured for public ownership, organisations across the UK will benefit from these literary gems joining their collections.

 “I am proud that this incredible archive will be the last major acquisition we will support under my leadership, before I step down at the end of the year.”

Geordie Greig, Chairman of FNL, said: 

“The generosity of all the donors has been incredible in saving this unique library, especially Sir Leonard Blavatnik,  who wonderfully matched the £7.5m that we had raised ensuring that our campaign to save the collection was successful.  There has been unprecedented public interest in this collection of manuscripts and books hidden for almost a century. Rescuing it has seemed a little like opening an Egyptian tomb to see for the first time ancient texts and treasures which are now saved in perpetuity for students, scholars and book-lovers. Thanks to FNL’s successful campaign the collection will be shared by libraries and writer’s houses all across our island, restoring a treasure trove of manuscripts to their birthplaces.”

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said:

"I am so delighted by the astonishing fundraising by Friends of the National Library and the great match funding donation by Sir Leonard Blavatnik to save this literary treasure trove for Britain.   £15m raised in five months is incredible."

The family of the original collectors, who had been the custodians of the library prior to the acquisition said:

"We are delighted that the Library is to remain in the UK and as the property of the nation with many of the books and manuscripts returning to their birthplaces for all to see and enjoy.”

Lizzie Dunford, Director of Jane Austen's House, said:

"It has been a privilege for Jane Austen’s House to be a part of this truly ground-breaking campaign, spearheaded by inspirational individuals, to save these extraordinary literary treasures for the nation.” 

Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library, said:

“ The British Library is thrilled that this rare opportunity to save such an exceptional collection of literary treasures for the nation has been successful.  Friends of National Libraries has brokered a remarkable and unprecedented collaboration between diverse institutions across the UK, and we are proud to have been a part of it. We very much look forward to working with our partners at The Brontë Parsonage Museum and the Brotherton Library to care for the extraordinary works entrusted to us and help make them available for everyone to enjoy.”

Amina Shah, National Librarian and Chief Executive of the National Library of Scotland, said: 

“Never before has a consortium worked so quickly and effectively to secure hidden literary treasures. This is a triumph for the people, for heritage and for the power of partnerships. At the National Library of Scotland we are thrilled to continue working with the Abbotsford Trust and the National Trust for Scotland, to share these Scottish literary treasures with the public and researchers – in Scotland and across the world – and we are grateful to the many supporters who helped to make this happen.” 

Richard Ovenden OBE,  Bodley’s Librarian at the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford said:

“A collection of literary treasures of this importance comes around only once in a generation. I am delighted that this unique consortium of libraries and writers houses, led by the FNL, has been able to work together so effectively in a totally new series of partnerships to acquire the Blavatnik Honresfield Library for the nation and to make it available to scholars and the wider public, now and long into the future”

Dr Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s English Literature & Historical Manuscripts Specialist, said:

“This is a collection like no other that has come to market in recent decades. It preserves the original words of some of our greatest writers, from Robert Burns finding his poetic voice, to Jane Austen anticipating a proposal at a ball, to powerful romantic verses by Emily Brontë. It has been a great privilege to represent the family who have been careful custodians of these remarkable treasures ever since they were collected in the late 19th century. We were amazed and delighted at the incredible ambition of the FNL’s plan to acquire the whole library, and they deserve every credit for bringing their campaign to a successful conclusion. Their success is a testament to what can be achieved by the collaboration of public institutions and private collectors.”

Phil Long OBE, the Chief Executive of the National Trust for Scotland said: 

“The National Trust for Scotland is proud to have been part of the consortium that has secured these literary treasures for the nation.  We are extraordinarily grateful to everyone who has donated to the appeal and for the support and close cooperation of our partners, especially the Friends of the National Libraries and our colleagues at the National Library of Scotland, the Abbotsford Trust, as well as the Scottish Government.  In the run up to Christmas, we’re receiving a gift that is beyond all compare and it is truly a joyful moment.   We hope to put in place arrangements over the coming months to ensure that as many people as possible are able to see and enjoy key items from the collection.”

Ann Dinsdale, Principal Curator at the Brontë Parsonage Museum said:

“The acquisition of the Blavatnik Honresfield Library is a significant moment in our nation’s cultural history.  The Brontë Society is immensely proud to have played a part and is very grateful to FNL, our consortium partners, funders, and our very generous donors.   To display these literary treasures in the place they were written will be a privilege and the undoubted highlight of my thirty two years at the Brontë Parsonage Museum.”

Giles Ingram,  Chief Executive,  Abbotsford Trust said:

“This is simply the most incredible achievement and we are deeply grateful to all those individuals and organisations who have made the saving of such a remarkable collection for the British public possible.   To think that manuscripts written by Walter Scott in his own hand, will be returning to his homeland, many to his own home is a triumph. The Lay of the Last Minstrel, Rob Roy and Scott’s diary of his lighthouse tour are each evocative of turning points in contemporary culture, and of Scott’s fame and fortune. Emerging from private ownership after so many years, it is heartwarming to know they will be available for the public to enjoy at long last.”

Masud Khokhar, University Librarian and Keeper of the Brotherton Collection, University of Leeds, said:

“The campaign to save the Blavatnik Honresfield Library for the benefit of the nation has been a wonderful example of collaborative working across leading cultural institutions. Making collections accessible for the benefit of the public is at the heart of the Brotherton Library and the University of Leeds Libraries vision for 2030. The addition of these outstanding manuscripts and books from the Blavatnik Honresfield Library will be celebrated and enjoyed by our communities, offering new and exciting opportunities for scholarship.”
FNL, PO Box 4291, Reading, Berkshire, RG8 9JA | Registered Charity No. 313020
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