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Friends of the Library and Archives

What is Friends of the Library and Archives?

The Friends and the Library and Archives Fund offers support to the Library, enabling the Library to purchase prominent archival and rare book collections, and fund student internships that help the Library to undertake a range of activities that support their core work and make the collections accessible.

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The availability of a fund with which we can develop significant funding cases is critical to developing our collections and having an internationally renowned research centre. Facilitating archive purchases is a great way to develop a lasting legacy from your funding, as we commit to keeping collections in perpetuity for the use and enjoyment of researchers of all kinds.

Kirsty Lingstadt, Director of Library, Archives and Learning Services

How is the Friends of the Library and Archives Fund making a difference?

Friends of the Library and Archives funding has been instrumental in the Library’s recent success in acquiring world-class research collections. Though every university has a library, none have one with the breadth and quality of archives and rare book collections that York does, and this has only been made possible with support from Friends of the Library and Archives. This funding also enables us to support making these collections accessible to wider audiences through the activity of student internships. Below are some examples of the collections that have been acquired with Friends of the Library and Archives support.

The Frankie Howerd Archive

Unseen since Howerd died in 1992, the Library was able to purchase the extensive archive of the York-born comedian in 2021. The archive includes Howerd’s personal copies of scripts, agency correspondence, videos of unscreened shows, contracts, and photographs spanning the whole of his career.

Up the Toga

Missing for over 50 years, a 16mm film copy of the long-lost US pilot for ‘Up Pompeii’ with Frankie Howerd appeared unexpectedly on eBay in December 2022. Friends of the Library and Archives funding enabled the Library to swiftly negotiate a deal with the seller and save the film from disappearing into private hands. The film was digitised and screened for the first time at the British Film Institute in August 2023.

The John Cole Archive

Purchased in 2022, this is a collection of unique manuscripts and printed material by the Yorkshire writer, publisher, bookseller, and antiquarian (1792-1848). The existence of diaries at the York Minster Archives means that York is now the national centre for research about this influential figure.

Manuscript notebook of William Peckitt

The manuscript notebook of the York-born 18th-century glass painter was purchased in 2019.

Friends of the Library and Archives funding has been incredibly helpful in securing some of our world-leading collections, helping us preserve the stories of the work around us, and opening up amazing new avenues of research and discovery.

Gary Brannan, Keeper of Archives and Special Collections

two students have a discussion in the library

Make a difference today

Become a friend of the Library and Archives and help acquire world-leading research collections, and provide students with valuable work experience that can set them up for their future career.

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