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 34 exciting cataloguing projects that have improved access to previously hidden archive collections across the UK. To continue the success of the programme, we sought your feedback in 2020 and made improvements to ensure that we continue to deliver an effective and supportive cataloguing fund for archives.

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?

Following a comprehensive review in 2020, Archives Revealed continues to be a two-phase programme but we have simplified the first phase. The Phase 1 application is now an expression of interest and Phase 2 is a full application.

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

What support is available?

We encourage applicants to contact the Archives Revealed team for a pre-application call. During this call, we can discuss your individual circumstances and provide application advice.

We may be able to offer you some additional support with your application, especially if you do not have significant experience of working with archive collections or in making grant applications. Please talk to us about this at your pre-application discussion.
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.

Our ‘help with your application‘ webpage also has lots of useful guidance and resources.

Who can apply?

To apply for an Archives Revealed cataloguing or scoping grant, your organisation must meet all of 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’.

Public sector bodies might include local authorities, hospital archives, and archives of public museums. Please contact us if you are unsure which type of organisation you are.
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
Not-for-profits that are not regulated by the Charity Commission are not eligible for Archives Revealed funding. This includes Companies Limited by Shares (CLS), Community Interest Companies (CICs), Community Benefit Societies (BenComms), Cooperative Societies, and Limited Liability Partnerships.

We can’t fund profit-making organisations or private individuals. We also don’t provide grants to organisations who are contributing to the funding of the Archives Revealed scheme.

Profit-making organisations: if your parent body is a profit-making organisation, do you have a friends group or a charitable arm/trust that could make an application on your behalf? Please note that you will be expected to provide clear justification, demonstrating the public benefit of receiving a grant.


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 can’t 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 archive expertise.

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, you must have finished the first project, submitted the final project report and received the final project payment before submitting a subsequent application. If your first application was unsuccessful, you can re-submit your application but please contact us for feedback first.

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. Applications from constitutionally separate services under the same parent authority may be considered. However, we encourage a strategic and prioritised approach to cataloguing and this may not align with multiple applications from related services.

Use of the grants

Archives Revealed will fund the additional staff costs required to deliver the project. Please note that the programme does not support full economic cost recovery. Below are details of what we can fund:

Staffing costs

Archives Revealed can fund staffing costs to undertake the project. This can include employing new project staff or backfilling for existing staff allocated to the project. If you use existing staff to undertake the cataloguing and then recruit temporary staff to backfill their substantive posts, you can only claim the cost of the temporary staff. 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.

Secondments, internships and staff exchanges are eligible in various roles but the cataloguing does need to be managed and substantially carried out by appropriately qualified staff. We do not support projects that are managed and led by volunteers.

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.

Activities that Archives Revealed can’t fund

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