About the grants

What are cataloguing grants?

This strand of Archives Revealed provides grants of up to £45,000 for archives to create catalogues of archival collections. Since the launch of these Cataloguing Grants in 2017, Archives Revealed has funded  44 exciting cataloguing projects which have improved access to previously hidden archive collections across the UK.  

We are interested in funding archives and organisations with collections that help support the aims of the Archives Revealed funding programme. 

How do I apply?

You can find out more about the application process on our how to apply‘ page. 

What support is available?

We have produced extensive guidance and resources that are available on our ‘help with your application’ page. 

A webinar introducing the grants and explaining the application process will be held on Friday 25 November – please register for our cataloguing grants webinar.

If, after reviewing the guidance, you have any enquiries about the Cataloguing Grant programme, including about eligibility, please contact us at archivegrants@nationalarchives.gov.uk. We may be able to offer you some additional support with your application, especially if you do not have extensive experience of working with archive collections or in making grant applications. 

If you have any particular access needs throughout the application process, for example British Sign Language interpretation, please get in touch and we would be happy to help provide the support you need. 

Who can apply?

To apply for an Archives Revealed cataloguing or scoping grant, your organisation must meet all the following eligibility criteria: 

Type of organisation

Eligible organisations

We can fund public sector bodies, registered charities, and other not-for-profit organisations. We also welcome partnership and consortium bids, but please see the section below on ‘simultaneous’ applications. 

Eligible not-for-profits are those that are regulated by the Charity Commission and include Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs), Charitable Trusts, and Companies Limited by Guarantee (as long as they have charitable status and are regulated by the Charity Commission). 

Organisations that are not eligible

We cannot fund profit-making organisations or private individuals. We also do not provide grants to organisations who are contributing to the funding of the Archives Revealed scheme. 


We can fund any of the above eligible organisations in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. The funded collection must also be held in these countries. 
We cannot fund organisations based in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, or organisations whose collections are held outside of the UK. 

Professional expertise

Funded organisations must have access to professional archival expertise from a qualified archivist. 

Collection status

We can fund organisations with owned or deposited collections, providing they can provide a commitment from the depositor that the collection will not be withdrawn from public access or sold within ten years of the project end date. 

Access to collections

Funded organisations must make their collections accessible to people outside their organisation.

Application history

There are no restrictions on past applicants applying – however, our data shows that second-time reapplications are no more likely to receive funding than first-time applications (and are substantially less likely, on a third or fourth reapplication). Before asking the panel to consider a collection for the second time, you should consider carefully whether the application is likely to score higher and discuss your proposed project with the Archives Revealed team.  

There is no restriction on institutions submitting an application for a different collection than that previously assessed. However, if you have been awarded a grant you must have finished the first project, submitted the final project report, and received the final project payment before submitting a subsequent application.  

Simultaneous applications

Organisations cannot participate in more than one application at a time, either as a lead applicant or as a partner. It is therefore vital that your application is approved by each organisation’s relevant authority to avoid duplication. 

Finances and use of the grants 

At the second stage application, organisations will submit a full budget proposal. This must align with the core purpose of the grant, to catalogue a collection. We reserve the right to offer conditional or partial funding of a project.  

The programme does not support full economic cost recovery or overheads, however, Archives Revealed will fund the additional staff costs required to deliver your project.  

Below are details of what we can fund: 

Staffing costs

Archives Revealed can fund staffing costs that are directly required to undertake the project. This can include employing new project staff or backfilling for existing staff allocated to the project. We will not support an approach that uses existing staff to undertake the project but does not backfill for their permanent roles, as this would negatively impact the organisation. 

Please see the most recent ARA recommendations on professional salary levels – we ask that archives use these wherever qualified archivists are employed. 

The project needs to be managed and substantially carried out by appropriately qualified staff. Volunteers, secondments, internships, and staff exchanges may be eligible to fulfil supporting roles, but we do not support projects that are managed and led by volunteers. 

Activities that Archives Revealed cannot fund: 

  • the acquisition of specialist cataloguing software 
  • the conservation of archives 
  • the digitisation of archives 
  • public engagement activities 
  • the cataloguing of non-archive collections 

Other costs

Archives Revealed will only fund the cost of repackaging material in exceptional circumstances, where your organisation is unable to fund routine preservation. Please explain in your application why this cost is included and why your organisation cannot pay for this from their core funds as part of the organisation’s contribution to the project. Archives Revealed may also fund additional cataloguing software licences to allow cataloguing to take place, if your organisation is unable to fund this themselves.