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Southampton Centre for Nineteenth-Century Research

Broadlands Archives campaign hits target after £1.99m NHMF grant

Published: 15 June 2010

The University of Southampton has reached its fundraising target for the Broadlands Archives after the announcement of a £1.99m grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) today.

The University launched a campaign to raise £2.85m to purchase the collection of historic documents in November 2009. The award of £1,993,760 from the NHMF means the University is on track to secure the Archives for the nation.

Professor Chris Woolgar, Head of Special Collections at the University's Hartley Library, says: "We are delighted with this fantastic contribution from the National Heritage Memorial Fund to help us acquire these important archives as a complete collection for the University, Hampshire and the nation.

"The award from NHMF and generous pledges from individuals, trusts and foundations, including Hampshire County Council and The John Henry Hansard Trust, mean we have succeeded in reaching our fundraising total. We thank everyone who has made a donation or written in support of our campaign."

A unique resource for historians

Comprising more than 4,500 boxes of documents, the Broadlands Archives include correspondence of the Victorian Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister Lord Palmerston, and approximately 250,000 papers and 50,000 photographs of Earl Mountbatten of Burma. The collection also includes the diaries of the 19th-century social reformer and philanthropist, the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, and material for the Temple and Ashley estates in Hampshire.

With documents dating from the 16th century to the present, the Archives shed unique light on the history of the UK and its relations with its colonies and foreign powers. It is one of the most significant manuscript collections in the country.

The Broadlands Archives have been on loan to the Hartley Library since 1989. Stored in purpose-built facilities, the collection is publicly available and has been used by researchers from around the world. The Trustees of the Archives determined to sell the collection, and have offered it to the University.

'Immense national and historical importance'

Carole Souter, Chief Executive of the NHMF, says: "This acquisition is of immense national and historical importance. Now that the fundraising target has been reached, the University of Southampton is on track to ensure that the records of those who stood at the very forefront of British political life will be preserved for future generations of historians, scholars and the public to explore and enjoy. We hope the Archives will join the diverse range of the UK's most important heritage treasures safeguarded by the National Heritage Memorial Fund over the last 30 years."

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