The UK’s National Archives have announced the organisations who have won grants from their ‘Records at Risk Fund’ for 2022. Eight archives from across England and Scotland have each received grants of up to £5,000.

The Records at Risk Fund provides support for urgent, short-notice interventions to save historical records, in both physical and digital formats, that face immediate peril. The fund focuses on categories of records that are not protected by legislation, such as the archives of businesses, charities and private individuals.

A broad range of organisations have been supported, with grants given to preserve collections focusing on policy, engineering history, film, sculpture, youth culture and more. The winners are:

  • Centre for Policy on Ageing
  • South West Heritage Trust
  • Media Archive for Central England
  • Shropshire Archives
  • Garden Museum
  • Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
  • The Museum of Youth Culture
  • Royal Society of Sculptors

The grant to South West Heritage Trust, for example, will allow them to meet the costs of emergency storage for the Debenhams archive after the last store closed in May 2021. South West Heritage Trust will also now be able to employ a consultant archivist to re-home the 200-year-old business archive, which contains letters, ledgers, deeds and photographs, at an appropriate archive service.

Another grant was awarded to the Garden Museum to preserve the records of R. Halliday & Co. Ltd, one of the foremost glasshouse manufacturers in Victorian and Edwardian Britain. The archive contains the last evidence of some glasshouses’ existence but the collection is currently at serious risk of degradation due to its storage in a hayloft and cellar. The Records at Risk grant will enable a consultant to survey the records, carry out urgent conservation work and re-package them for future safekeeping and public access.

The Records at Risk Fund is a partnership between The National Archives, the Archives and Records Association and the British Records Association. The Business Archives Council is an associate partner, and is using its own funds to further support some of the business records that have been identified as being at risk.

‘I welcome this innovative collaboration with our partners in the archives sector, which has prevented the loss of significant, vulnerable records. Thanks to these grants, multiple collections will now be saved and preserved, allowing future generations to research and learn from them. This is a very practical demonstration of our ongoing support to the wider archive sector.’

Dr Valerie Johnson, Director of Research and Collections at The National Archives

You can full details on the grants and recipients here.

Source: The National Archives