Help with your application

Round 6 of the Cataloguing Grants programme is now open. We have launched the programme with an introductory webinar and provided question-by-question guidance for applicants below. Please read all the guidance carefully before making your application. 


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

Additional support

If you have reviewed the guidance and would like to discuss your proposal further, 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. 

Application guidance for Phase 1
(expression of interest)

Question 1: Applicant organisation

Please provide the name of the organisation(s) making the application. If the application is on behalf of a partnership or consortium, please clearly specify the lead organisation.  

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 your organisation: a public sector body (except Government departments), a registered charity, another not-for-profit organisation, or none of the above? 

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 (if they have charitable status and are regulated by the Charity Commission). 

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 5: 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. 

If the collection is owned by another party (deposited with your organisation) or is a mixture of owned and deposited material, you will be required to submit a letter from the owner(s), confirming that the collection will be publicly accessible for ten years after the grant funding period finishes. 

If the collection is a deposited collection, please submit a letter from the depositor supporting the application and confirming that it will be accessible at this stage.  

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

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. 

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

Question 7: Please provide a brief overview of the collection to be catalogued and why you have prioritised this collection for cataloguing (400 words). Please do include images as appropriate. 

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 you explain why you have chosen the specific collection to be catalogued, and that the focus of your description is on the specific collection that will be catalogued as part of the project, and not the wider collections in your archives. 

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 8: Please describe how your collection is significant (400 words)

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. 

The first aim 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 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 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). 
  • 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? 

For more detailed guidance on how to write a significance statement, you might want to watch this video from 2017. 

Question 9: Please describe the intended and potential audiences for the collection. (300 words)

Archives Revealed aims to increase the visibility and use of archive collections across varied audiences, revealing the stories and experiences of people, communities, and events. As an inclusive, responsible funder, we will consider questions of diversity and inclusion, as well as engaging new audiences across the sector.

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? 
  • 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? 
  • Will the project have an impact on people’s wellbeing? 
  • Will the project make a difference to people’s lives? 

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: Please describe the approach to cataloguing and standards that you will adopt (300 words)

Archives Revealed aims to fund projects that represent examples of excellence in cataloguing and discovery. 

  • 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’ page
  • Does the cataloguing of the archive lend itself to a more innovative or novel approach, and/or support sectoral development in this area? 
  • 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 11: Please provide a brief estimate of the total amount of funding you are requesting from the Archives Revealed Cataloguing Grants programme and any matched funding contribution. 

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 cannot fund, please see the ‘use of the grants’ section of our ‘about the grants’ page.