Unique Honresfield Library acquired for £15m by consortium including British Library and NLS 10 Jan 2022

A consortium has acquired the unique Honresfield Library, which contains original manuscripts by figures including the Brontë sisters, Jane Austen, Robert Burns and Walter Scott. The British Library and National Library of Scotland were among those in the Friends of National Libraries consortium leading the fundraising effort. Gifts included £7.5m from philanthropist Leonard Blavatnik, and £2.5m from museums and libraries themselves including the Bodleian, as well as the British Library and NLS. The manuscripts were originally collected by Rochdale mill owner William Law, and had been in private ownership for more than a century, but will now be donated to libraries and writers’ houses across the UK, including Jane Austen’s House and the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth. Amina Shah, Chief Executive of NLS said: "never before has a consortium worked so quickly and effectively to secure hidden literary treasures. This is a triumph for the people, for heritage and for the power of partnerships.” Art Newspaper, Guardian, Arts Industry, NLS, Museums Journal