Help with your application

Round 5 of the cataloguing grants programme is now open. We’ve provided question-by-question guidance for applicants below. Please read all the guidance carefully before making your application.

Contact us

Please contact us to make an appointment to discuss your proposed project. The Archives Revealed team at The National Archives can give advice and support on the application process, eligibility, and how to apply for funding. Please email to arrange a mutually convenient time.


As well as the application guidance below, you may also want to read our FAQs for answers to the most popular questions about the Archives Revealed programme.

Additional support

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. For example, we have developed a critical friend scheme to provide additional support for inexperienced applicants or lone archivists. Get in touch and we can match you to a volunteer critical friend within the archive sector who can read draft applications and offer ideas for improvements. We also provide access to fundraising e-learning, workshops and other resources to further enable archives to make successful funding applications to any funding body.

Application guidance for Phase 1
(expression of interest)

Question 1: Applicant organisation

Please provide the name of the organisation making the application.

Question 2: Address of applicant organisation

Please provide the address and postcode of the organisation making the application.

Question 3: Contact name and details

Please provide the name of the lead person/contact point for your application, as well as their email address/phone number.

Question 4: Is this application from a single organisation or from a partnership/consortium?

You can apply for a cataloguing grant as a single organisation or as a partnership/consortium of more than one organisation.

Question 5: If this is a partnership application, please enter the organisation name for each partner.

Please let us know who all the partners in the application are.

Question 6: Will your organisation, or all partners in a partnership application, be able to confirm in writing their involvement in the project?

If you progress to phase 2, you will need to provide written confirmation that your organisation consents to being involved in the project. If this is a partnership application, each partner will need to provide written evidence of consent.

Please simply confirm that you will be able to provide this written consent when requested either at or before phase 2.

Please note: You do not have to upload this with the Phase 1 (expression of interest) application.

Question 7: Have you or any partner applicant, submitted an application to the Archives Revealed cataloguing grants scheme, either as a partner or as a lead applicant, in the 2021-2022 funding round?

Your organisation can only make one application to the Archives Revealed cataloguing grant programme in each round. For example, you cannot apply for a cataloguing grant as a single applicant, and also apply as a partner in another application.

Applications from constitutionally separate services under the same parent authority may be considered, but please contact us before your application for confirmation via

One organisation may be able to submit applications for both a cataloguing grant and a scoping grant within the same year of applications. However, the scoping grant must be concluded and the grant paid, before a cataloguing grant application can be submitted.

Question 8: Is your organisation: a public sector body (except Government departments), a registered charity, an other not-for-profit, or none of the these options?

Please select one of the given options to show you are eligible for Archives Revealed.

Public sector bodies might include local authorities, hospital archives, and the 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).

Not-for-profits that are not eligible for funding with Archives Revealed are those that are not regulated by the Charity Commission and include: Companies Limited by Shares (CLS), Community Interest Companies (CICs), Community Benefit Societies (BenComms), Cooperative Societies; and Limited Liability Partnerships.

In addition, Archives Revealed cannot give assistance to profit-making organisations or private individuals, as lead applicants or as project partners. If you would like to talk to us about the eligibility of your organisation, please contact us on

Question 9: Please describe your organisation and/or the nature of the partnership if this is a partnership application (150 words)

Please provide some information about your organisation or the nature of the partnership between the organisations involved in this application. You might like to include information about the history and governance of your organisation, its mission and aims, and where in the organisation the archive is managed.

If this is a partnership application you might like to describe how the partnership was created and whether it is a new partnership or whether you have previously collaborated on projects.

Question 10: How does/will your organisation access professional archive advice as part of the management of the cataloguing project?

This question relates to how your archive service will provide appropriate staffing to successfully deliver the cataloguing project, and ensure the catalogue and archive collection can be supported with professional advice after the project has been completed.

Project delivery
For most projects, we anticipate that professionally qualified staff should deliver the cataloguing project – which usually means an appropriately qualified archivist should undertake the main part of the cataloguing, take the lead role in the design of the catalogue structure, and lead the implementation of your chosen cataloguing approach.

In these cases, you may choose to employ a new member of staff to deliver the cataloguing, or use an existing member of staff with appropriate qualifications and backfill to their post.

Salary Recommendations: please note that we expect professional staff funded through the Archives Revealed programme to be paid in accordance with the most recent ARA Salary Recommendations.

Unqualified staff: there may be some circumstances where a cataloguing project would benefit from employing a member of staff with lived experience of the archive that is being catalogued or additional knowledge not held by the applicant organisation. We are happy to discuss options for structuring the cataloguing post as part of a training programme that encourages new pathways into the archive profession and supports the diversification of the archive workforce. Organisations who wish to investigate this approach further should discuss this with us at the pre-application discussion appointment.

Using volunteers: you can use volunteers to contribute to your project in support of the cataloguing archivist but the archivist should take the leading role in project delivery.

Please contact us at if you have any questions about salaries, professional qualifications or working with volunteers and the extent of their role in the project.

Post-project professional advice
We also ask that you plan for how your organisation will ensure the appropriate care and management of the collection after the completion of the cataloguing project. This ongoing professional support can be achieved in several ways, for example by using one or more of the following suggestions:

  • through the employment of an archivist on a permanent basis
  • through the use of a professional archives consultant on an ‘as needed’ basis, or for a set number of days per year, for the provision of advice and guidance about the collection
  • through the appointment of a professional archivist to your Board or other governing body to oversee strategic decisions about the collection and activities being undertaken
  • through a partnership established with another archive that can provide professional archive advice and support to your organisation

If you have any questions or concerns about how to build on-going professional support into your organisation, or your project, then please contact us for further advice on

Question 11: What policies and procedures do you have for collections care and/or digital preservation (depending on the format of the collection to be catalogued)?

We would like assurance that the catalogued collection will be appropriately cared for and stored during and after the project has taken place. Therefore, in your response to this question, we ask you to describe the policies and procedures you have in place for the long-term protection of the archive material.

If you are invited to submit a phase 2 application you will be asked to upload a copy of your current preservation/conservation policy or a digital preservation policy for digital collections, and therefore you may need to work towards this as part of the application process. Please let us know if you need additional help or support with this requirement.

What should a policy include?

We can provide further detailed advice and guidance but in general your policy might include:

  • a description of the standards which you apply to protecting and storing archives
  • a summary of storage conditions
  • a stated commitment to the long-term preservation of the collections in your care

Question 12: Please provide a brief overview of the collection to be catalogued? (250 words)

Please describe the collection that you are proposing to catalogue. It would be useful if you could include the following in your description:

  • the subject of the collection – this might be archives relating to a person, organisation, place, or event
  • the type of archive – such as paper, film, digital records
  • the size of the collection – you can measure it in boxes, linear meters, cubic meters, or gigabytes (GB)
  • the sort of records contained in the archive – such as minutes, correspondence, deeds, maps, photographs, films, oral histories
  • the period of time the records cover – e.g. circa 1750-1900

Please ensure that the focus of your description is the specific collection that will be catalogued as part of the project, and not the wider collections in your archives.

Question 13: Images to accompany your description

You may attach up to three images if you would like. Again, please ensure that these images relate to the specific collection that will be catalogued.

Question 14: Is the collection to be catalogued owned by the holding archive, or it is a deposited collection?

Please respond with either ‘owned’, ‘deposited’ or ‘both’. To understand the status of the collection we need to know whether you own the collection, whether the ownership remains with someone else as it is deposited with your organisation, or whether the collection is a mixture of owned and deposited material.

Question 15: Will you be able to provide evidence of the ownership or deposit and a confirmation in writing from the owner or depositor that the collection will be accessible to the public for at least 10 years after the conclusion of the project and that, should it be withdrawn from public use within the 10-year period, the grant will be repaid on a pro-rata basis?

We need to ensure that all funded projects are undertaken on collections where the organisation has the right to catalogue the collection, and where we have sufficient reassurance that the collection will remain available for public research for a significant period of time after project completion.

To understand the status of the collection we need to know whether you own the collection, whether someone else owns it and it is deposited with your organisation (for example as a long-term loan), or whether the collection is a mixture of owned and deposited material.

If you are invited to make a phase 2 application you will need to provide evidence of the collection’s ownership/deposit status.

For owned collections, you will need to provide confirmation in writing from your organisation that you intend to make the collection accessible to the public for at least 10 years after the conclusion of the project, and that you understand that if the collection is withdrawn from public use before this a proportion of the grant will need to be repaid.

For deposited collections, you will need to provide confirmation in writing from the owner/depositor that they intend to make the collection accessible to the public for at least 10 years after the conclusion of the project, and that they understand that if the collection is withdrawn from public use before this a proportion of the grant will need to be repaid.

If you will have difficulty providing this evidence, please speak to a member of the Archives Revealed team at

Please describe how your project supports the aims of the Archives Revealed cataloguing grants programme

Our goal is that the Archives Revealed programme will ensure that significant archive collections – representing the lives and perspectives of all people across the UK – are made accessible to the public for research and enjoyment. We have developed 6 aims for the programme, which you can find on our ‘about Archives Revealed‘ webpage.

Please describe how your project will contribute to each of the above aims for the programme. There is a word limit of 250 words per aim for questions 16 to 21.

The following guidance includes some prompting questions for you to consider. You do not have to provide answers to all the prompting questions individually – they have been formulated to stimulate thinking about each aim to help you prepare your response.

Question 16: Aim 1 – Significance

Aim 1 of Archives Revealed is to make significant collections, which would otherwise remain hidden, accessible to national and local audiences.

Prompts for your response:

  • Do you know anything about who created the collection, or used it? Was this person or organisation of particular interest, either to your community or to the general public. Does the person/organisation link the collection to a particular event, person, place or theme that is of interest?
  • How unique and rare is the collection? What makes it different to other collections of a similar type or topic? What makes it stand out? Are collections like this rarely available for research and engagement?
  • Is the collection intact or complete? Is this unusual? Is there anything about the condition of the collection that makes it important or of specific value?
  • Does the collection have any links to a person, group, organisation, event, place, community or activity that has cultural, historical or scientific significance, either to your community or to the general public?
  • Does the collection have a strong link to a local, regional or national audience and is it important to that locality, region or wider geographic area?
  • Is the collection in demand for research? Do you get many enquiries about it when people know it exists? (This could indicate a high level of significance or value for your audience).

Question 17: Aim 2 – Diversity and inclusion

Aim 2 of Archives Revealed is to be an inclusive and responsible funder that supports diversity across the archive sector.

Prompts for your response:

  • Does the collection represent people, communities or perspectives that are under-represented in archive collections?
  • Will the project involve collaborations or partnerships with diverse audience groups?
  • Have you adopted an inclusive approach to recruitment of staff and volunteers?
  • Does your organisation support an inclusive working environment?

Question 18: Aim 3 – Audiences, engagement and improvements to access

Aim 3 of Archives Revealed is to increase the visibility and use of archive collections across varied audiences, revealing the stories and experiences of people, communities and events.

Prompts for your response:

  • Have you considered a wide range of audiences and users when planning who might be interested in the collection?
  • How will the project achieve improvement to how the collection will be accessed and used?
  • If the collection already has a partial list of contents, how will the cataloguing project improve access to this collection?
  • What resources/commitment/plans does your organisation have for engaging audiences with the collection once it is catalogued?

Question 19: Aim 4 – Impact and value of archives

Aim 4 of Archives Revealed is to highlight the value of archives in making a difference to people’s lives.
Prompts for your response:

  • Will the project have an impact on people’s wellbeing?
  • Will the project make a difference to people’s lives?
  • Will the project be able to contribute to the wider value of archive collections in areas such as increasing people’s social interaction, strengthening a sense of belonging, and developing new skills and confidence?
  • Have you thought about how you might measure the impact that your project has?

Question 20: Aim 5 – Standards and approaches to cataloguing

Aim 5 of Archives Revealed is to fund projects that represent examples of excellence in cataloguing and discovery.

Prompts for your response:

  • What standards of cataloguing and discovery will you follow?
  • Are these standards appropriate for the type and format of the collection? For example, the International Standard for Archival Descriptions, General (ISAD (G)). For more information on cataloguing standards for archives, please visit our ‘cataloguing archive collections‘ webpage.
  • If the collection contains film/AV material, have you looked at the specific available standards for this? You can find out more information about film archives on the Film Archives UK website.
  • If the collection is born digital, have you considered how you might approach cataloguing this type of archive? Information on cataloguing born digital records can be on the Digital Preservation Coalition’s website.
  • Is there a particular cataloguing methodology you will be adopting for this project? Examples include: a detailed cataloguing approach at file level for the whole collection, a mixed approach with some cataloguing at file/item level and some at series level, or a more product less process approach (MPLP) that produces less detailed catalogue information but more in quantity of descriptions produced in the given time. Again, for more information, see our ‘cataloguing archive collections‘ webpage.
  • How much detail are you planning to include in the catalogue (will the cataloguing be series, file or item level?)
  • Why have you chosen your selected approach? Does it reflect your usual cataloguing processes, or are you doing it differently?
  • Will you be engaging the knowledge and expertise of your audiences and the communities you work with in the cataloguing process?

Question 21: Aim 6 – Funding skills and confidence

Aim 6 of Archives Revealed is to build fundraising skills and confidence through the application process.

Prompts for your response:

  • How much experience do you have with making funding applications, and raising funds for your archive or your wider organisation?
  • Can you use the application process and the support provided by The National Archives’ grants management team to help build confidence and skills in fundraising?

Question 22: Please provide a brief estimate of the total amount of funding you are requesting from the Archives Revealed Cataloguing Grants programme

We do not expect a detailed breakdown of project costs in this phase. We would like an estimate of the amount of funding you require to catalogue the proposed collection.

Please include:

  • an estimate of how much you will be requesting from Archives Revealed to undertake the cataloguing project
  • an estimate of how much cash support your organisation or other stakeholder will be contributing to the cataloguing project
  • an estimate of how much in-kind support your organisation will be contributing to the cataloguing project (this might include volunteer time, management support, technical support and materials)

Please note that Archives Revealed does not support full economic cost recovery. We will fund the additional staff costs required to deliver the project. To find out more about what we can and can’t fund, please see the ‘use of the grants’ section of our ‘about the grants‘ webpage.

Estimating In-Kind Costs
(Please remember that at this phase these are just estimated costs.)

  • Volunteer time: When estimating the costs of volunteer time, you could estimate the hours needed for the project and use the national living wage to guide the potential contribution that volunteers make to the project. If the volunteers have specific skills, then you might consider using the para-professional scale from the ARA salary recommendations as a guide for the potential value of the contributions from skilled volunteers.
  • Management time or technical support: If the project requires some time from existing management (line management or other senior management) or other technical support, then estimate how many days this might require over the course of the project and use your existing salary information to estimate the value of this contribution.

Question 23: Is this the total amount of funding needed to complete the project or are you also seeking funding from elsewhere?

Please provide details of any other funding contributions for the delivery of your cataloguing project if your project requires additional funding beyond the contribution of Archives Revealed and any cash contribution from your own organisation. For example, a grant from another funder or organisation.

Question 24: Will you be willing to participate in the evaluation of the programme during and after the project is completed? This will involve regular reporting telephone conversations and some written reports.

We will be monitoring the progress of projects and keeping in touch with you through regular telephone conversations over the course of the project and for a period of time after the project is completed. This is so that we can record information about your progress and the impact that cataloguing has for archives.

Please give your assurance that you will be willing to participate in this monitoring and evaluation process, as this will be a condition of any grant awarded.