About us

The National Manuscripts Conservation Trust (NMCT) was established in 1990 by the British Library and the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, with funding from the Office of Arts and Libraries and from private donors. It is a Registered Charity, number 802796. 

Focusing on the care and conservation of manuscripts in the UK

The NMCT is the only UK grant-giver that focuses solely on the care and conservation of manuscripts in the UK. We give grants to:

  • record offices, archive services, libraries, museums and specialist collecting institutions in the UK;
  • owners of manuscripts and archives resident in the UK where the collections are conditionally exempt from capital taxation or which are owned by a charitable trust.  In these cases adequate public access must be provided.

We cannot support national libraries or museums or institutions that are directly funded by government. 

For more information about institutions and manuscripts that are eligible for our support see our FAQ section.

NMCT Annual Report 2020

NMCT's 2020 Annual Report

Our grants

Our grants are towards the cost of repair, binding and conservation and preservation of manuscripts.  Our grants can cover the cost of, for example, new boxes and folders but not capital items (e.g. shelving, plan chests) or equipment.  Conservation projects can include digitisation (as a preservation method) but we cannot support projects that are solely digitisation. 

Find out more about our grants and whether your project is eligible by going to the Applying to Us section of this site.

Conservation of Edwatd Thomas' notebooks. Image: Cardiff University.

Conservation of Edwatd Thomas' notebooks. Image: Cardiff University.

Conserving pre 1700 musical manuscripts, Christ Church College. Image courtesy of the Oxford Conservation Consortium and Christ Church Library.

Conserving pre 1700 musical manuscripts, Christ Church College. Image courtesy of the Oxford Conservation Consortium and Christ Church Library.

The Trustees benefit from specialist advice on every application is provided by The National Archives and, as appropriate, the Museums Archives and Libraries Division (MALD) of the Welsh Government and the Scottish Council on Archives. Their advice covers the significance of the material, its status and the appropriateness of the proposed conservation treatment, which informs the Trustees' decisions about which projects should be awarded grants.  With support of these partners we can also advise applicants on issues relating to preservation and conservation best practice and offer free advisory visits where necessary.

Download the NMCT Annual Report

You can download the NMCT Annual Report here:

File
NMCT AR 2020.pdf (5.8 MB)

We are most grateful to Conservation by Design  for their generous support of our Annual Report.

Thank you to our many donors

The Trustees of NMCT gratefully acknowledge the support of our many donors, which enable us to support far more conservation projects than would otherwise be possible. We are particularly grateful for the generous support that we receive from  The Pilgrim Trust, with which we have worked in partnership for many years.