BAC Cataloguing Grant for Business Archives


Funding available to support the cataloguing of a business collection, with academic or socio-historical value, by private or public sector organisations in the UK.

Extended Description

The Business Archives Council (BAC) was established in 1934 with the aims of promoting the preservation of business records of historical importance, supplying advice and information on the administration and management of both archives and modern records, and encouraging interest in the history of business in Britain.

The Council has provided a cataloguing grant since 2010 to support the implementation of the National Strategy for Business Archives by funding a cataloguing project annually to help make business archives more accessible. The grant aims to:

  • Provide financial support for institutions/businesses that manage business archives.
  • Reach collections that have not yet been prioritised but have potential academic or socio-historical value.
  • Create opportunities for archivists or para-professionals/volunteers to gain experience in listing business collections.
  • Make more business collections accessible.

The grant should be used over the equivalent of a four-week period to fund an archive intern or temporary staff member (under professional supervision) to catalogue a discrete collection of business records. This can either be a detailed catalogue of a small collection or a top-level catalogue of a more substantial collection.

Eligibility Criteria

Applications are welcomed from any type of organisation in the UK, whether private or public sector, which holds business archives (eg business, archival institution, museum, charity, university). Projects must fulfil the following eligibility criteria:

  • Applications must be for archive cataloguing only. These collections may contain a variety of items, including written paper records, printed material, photographs, film and sound recordings, and electronic records.
  • Collection(s) must be archives of a company, business individual(s) or trade association.
  • Applications should relate to entire collections or to discrete sections of larger archives, and can be for the new cataloguing of unlisted material or for improving existing catalogues. Two main kinds of cataloguing can be undertaken: introductory and/or multi-level cataloguing to international standards, or summary box list cataloguing.
  • Projects must have input either from a professionally qualified archivist of the applicant organisation or from a professionally qualified archivist of a partner organisation.
  • Organisations with custody of the collection(s) must have a published or proposed access policy and must have presence on National Register of Archives and Archon by the end of the project.
  • Collection(s) must be held in storage accommodation that makes reasonable provision for the long-term preservation of archives.

Applicants need not be a member of the BAC, although they are encouraged to join to receive the benefits membership will bring.

Value Notes

An award of £2,000 is made.

Match Funding Restrictions

Applicants should meet the costs of packaging from their own budgets.


The Council does not normally award a grant to the same institution within three years of a previous award.

Terms and Conditions

Applications will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Relationship to business collections of high historical or other significance (for example to the business).
  • Demonstration of good project planning, with realistic and achievable project goals.
  • Demonstration of clear benefit to the applicant organisation/owner and wider society.
  • Reasons why proposed cataloguing cannot be funded through existing resources.
  • Potential to lead to other developments or projects which benefit both the use of the archives and/or wider society in general.

Grant recipients should provide the BAC with a final report and catalogue, and the catalogue should be made available to the National Register of Archives. Also, the records catalogued must be publicly accessible (without charge in the case of publicly-funded institutions) and there must be a reasonable expectation that this will continue to be the case for a minimum of 10 years.

Previous Successes

Awards already made include:

  • West Sussex Record Office for the cataloguing of the Hornung Papers.
  • Durham County Record Office for the cataloguing of archives of Consett Iron Company and its subsidiary companies.
  • Norfolk Record Office for cataloguing the archives of William Gaymer & Son Ltd.

Application Procedure

Applicants should download, complete and email an application form to Lorna Williams, Trustee, BAC, by the closing date of 27 June 2014.

Decision is made by the end of July 2014 and announced in August 2014.

Information taken from Grantfinder, Idox