Seven Stories benefits from Heritage Lottery Fund ‘Collecting Cultures’ Programme

Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Books are delighted to announce that the centre will receive a grant of £341,500 from Heritage Lottery Fund’s ‘Collecting Cultures’ programme.

Today Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announces a £5 million funding package to a range of museums, libraries and archives across the UK. Under HLF’s Collecting Cultures Programme*, 23 organisations, from Glasgow to Brighton, will be able to enhance the scope of their Collections.

We’re absolutely delighted to have been awarded a Collecting Cultures grant by Heritage Lottery Fund. Seven Stories is the UK’s only museum of children’s books and already has a really strong core collection, but this funding is a fantastic opportunity to acquire artwork and manuscripts by leading writers and illustrators that have been out of reach up until now. We also have exciting plans to bring the collection to life through exhibitions and events at Seven Stories and further afield, including a new gallery telling the story of British children’s reading through the work of favourite authors and illustrators.Sarah Lawrence, Seven Stories, Collections Director

Seven Stories will use the grant to develop three main areas in their Collection; poetry, picture books and children’s fiction from 1930 – 2000. In all three areas, Seven Stories will aim to collect work which showcases social and cultural diversity and change in Britain today as well as work which shows how the reading experience has changed across generations. The grant enables Seven Stories to their Collection to tell more fully the story of modern children’s literature.

Seven Stories is also planning an exciting range of events, exhibitions and activities for families as well as learning resources for schools and Further & Higher Education and staff training.

Carole Souter, Chief Executive of the HLF said, “Collecting Cultures is unique: HLF is the only funding body that currently offers this type of advance funding support for museums, libraries and archives. Building on past success, a second incarnation of the initiative is back by popular demand.

“This upfront investment of £5m will enable a diverse range of collections, including children’s literature, robotics, fashion, football and the Black art movement, to be strengthened and enlivened. Curators will be able to ‘go shopping’ with their HLF grant, researching to identify works of art, images and objects that they would like to purchase over the five year life span of their Collecting Cultures project.”

Seven Stories’ Collection focuses on the heritage of modern and contemporary British Children’s Literature. The Collection comprises manuscripts, artwork, archives and books dating from 19.30 to the present day. Seven Stories now have the holdings of national and international significance which had previously been overlooked before Seven Stories was established in 1996.

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Other Successful ‘Collecting Cultures’ projects are:

East Midlands

  • The National Trust, Exploring Childhoods (£228,900)
  • East of England
  • Scott Polar Research Institute, By Endurance We Conquer: the Shackleton Project (£500,000)
  • Fry Art Gallery Society, The Fry Going Forward (£199,000)


  • The Cartoon Museum, Comic Creators (£164,300)
  • Museum of London, Experimental Photography in London 1970-204 (£95,900)
  • Science Museum, A New Collecting Initiative Targeting 600 Years of Mechanism Created in Lifelike Form (£100,000)
  • Autograph ABP, Building Autograph ABP’s Collection of Photography, Expanding the Narratives on Black Representation (£96,800)

North East

  • Seven Stories, the Centre for Children’s Books, Collecting British Children’s Literature; Strategic Acquisitions to Develop the Seven Stories Collection (£341,500)

North West

  • Manchester Art Gallery, From Catwalk to High Street (£307,300)
  • Fusilier Museum, Enriching the Collection (£60,000)
  • National Museums Liverpool, The International Slavery Museum’s Transatlantic and Contemporary Slavery Collecting Project (£225,000)
  • People’s History Museum, Voting for Change – 150 years of Radical Movements for Democracy, 1819 to 1969 (£95,000)
  • National Football Museum, The Art of Football (£199,900)

Northern Ireland

  • National Museums Northern Ireland, Collecting the Troubles and Beyond (£370,000)


  • University of Glasgow Archive Services, Darning Scotland’s Textile Collections: Recording, Identifying and Expanding Knowledge about Scotland’s Textile Heritage (£91,800)
  • Scottish Maritime Museum, SMMart: Enriching the Imagery of Scotland’s Maritime Heritage (£412,000)

South East

  • Royal Pavilion Museums Brighton and Hove, Fashioning Africa (£242,300)
  • Jane Austen Memorial Trust, Jane Austen Bicentenary Collections Project (£191,600)

South West

  • Wiltshire Council, Creative Wiltshire and Swindon (£178,000)


  • National Museum Wales, Saving Treasures, Telling Stories (£349,000)

West Midlands

  • Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Artists of the Black Movement in Britain 1979-1984 (£183,000)
  • The Birmingham Museums Trust, Representing Birmingham (£389,100)

Yorkshire and Humber

  • The Royal Armouries, Arms and Armour of Popular Culture (£98,000)

Further Information about HLF

  • *This is the second time HLF has run Collecting Cultures, an initiative to support museums, libraries and archives in developing their collections through strategic acquisition projects. Grantees plan and deliver programmes of targeted purchase whilst developing staff skills and engaging a wider range of people with their collections.
  • To date, HLF has invested a third of its total commitment - £2bn - to transforming museums, libraries and archives.
  • Acquisitions must be at least 10 years-old to be eligible for HLF support.
  • The Collecting Cultures programme is now closed for applications.

For the Heritage Lottery Fund, please contact Katie Owen, Press Office, on tel: 020 7591 6036 mobile: 07973 613820.