In childhood, Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855) and her siblings created a rich imaginary world, sparked by a set of toy soldiers given to Branwell by their father, and chronicled in tiny handwritten books. Their minute scale and miniature details such as title pages and advertisements, make these little books the most memorable and iconic items in the Museum’s collection. They also chart Charlotte Brontë’s development as a writer and reveal how many of her early themes carry over into her published novels.
Search FNL grants since 1931
In March 2020 the Britten-Pears Arts purchased the Archive of Lennox Berkeley Papers to form part of the Britten Pears Archive held at the Red House, Benjamin Britten’s home in Aldeburgh, Suffolk.
Comprising 17 boxes and 182 framed items together with some loose papers, the archive includes Peake’s illustrations for classic works of literature including Treasure Island, Household Tales by the Brothers Grimm, The Hunting of the Snark and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, as well as illustrations for his own novels (including Gormenghast), children’s books, plays, poetry and television projects. Also included are drawings of famous literary, theatrical and artistic figures, among them Laurence Olivier and Peggy Ashcroft. The archive contains unpublished material and rough sketches that are key to understanding Peake’s artistic and literary development.
The archive forms a key source for British and international history in the 18th -20th centuries, and is closely related to manuscripts and archives in the Bodleian, particularly the extensive political collections.
The private papers of George William Frederick Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon (1800-1870) are at the heart of the archive. He was a leading statesman of the early Victorian era, as ambassador to Spain, 1833-9, Lord Privy Seal, 1840, President of the Board of Trade 1846-7, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1847-52, Foreign Secretary 1853-8, 1865-6 and 1868-70, and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster from 1864-5. His postings coincided with key moments of the era such as the Irish Famine and the Crimean War. His official papers were deposited in the Bodleian in 1949, and transferred to the Bodleian's ownership by Acceptance in Lieu and purchase in 2012 with FNL’s support.
The grant of the manor of Smewyns was made by the Crown to Sir John Norreys on 1 August 1558. It is written in ink on a single membrane of parchment and measures 475mm high by 687mm wide. The initial portrait letter shows Philip and Mary enthroned while there is additional decoration within and above a majuscule first line.
The grant provides rare evidence for this small manor. The physical manifestation of Smewyns is long gone, with parts of a medieval moat being the only trace of the original settlement. There are also very few surviving documents for Smewyns and no others at the Berkshire Record Office. It is possible that the grant provides the only full description of the manor’s extent.
This is a fascinating collection of documents covering a century of Westmorland Parliamentary Elections. The archive consists of 175 items: broadsides, leaflets and pamphlets, covering the period from 1818-1910 with significant collections from the 1826 and 1843 elections. These were politically turbulent times with electoral, agricultural and political reform at the forefront of the public mind, issues that were fought out at the local level through the hustings. During this period Westmorland was dominated by a landed elite, led by the Lowther family, Earls of Lonsdale. Henry Brougham was the long-standing Liberal candidate for Westmorland, and was MP for several constituencies outside the area.
The Wiener Library is one of the world's leading and most extensive archives on the Holocaust and Nazi era. Formed in 1933, the Library's unique collection of over one million items includes published and unpublished works, press cuttings, photographs and eyewitness testimony. The poster collection contains 17 German posters covering a broad range of themes connected with the First World War, Communism, anti-Bolshevism and The Weimar Republic.
Constantine Ionides was one of a family of art collectors and patrons of Greek origin in Victorian London. In 1900 the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) accepted the bequest of his important picture collection, consisting of over 1,100 paintings, drawings and prints representing a wide variety of schools, periods and artists, including Old Masters, works of the 17th century and those by contemporary (19th-century) French and English artists, with many of whom Ionides was personally acquainted. The Ionides collection is one of the very few surviving undispersed Victorian collections of progressive art.
Ionides himself left little documentary evidence about his taste, relationships or collecting activity, so the surviving letters addressed to him shed precious light on the formation of the collection, on individual works within it, and on Ionides’s relations with artists and art world associates
On 20 June 2018 a significant collection of personal correspondence belonging to John Wilton Haines (1875 – 1960) was auctioned at Bonhams in London. Known as ‘Jack’ to his associates, he was a Gloucester-based solicitor, poet and botanist.
Idylls of the King is one of the most famous 19th-century collaborations between a poet and a photographer and a rare and invaluable source for the study of Tennyson's poetry and of Victorian culture.
Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) is one of the most celebrated women in the history of photography, known for her innovative work when photography was still in its infancy. Her photographs were rule-breaking: purposely out of focus, and often including smudges, scratches and other traces of the artist's process.