The British Library plays an essential role in safeguarding the nation’s heritage. One of the most significant ways that we can achieve this goal is to acquire nationally-important items for our collections.

Many donors have supported our appeal to acquire the St Cuthbert Gospel and, thanks to their generosity, we will be able to showcase this precious manuscript for many generations to come.

The Gospel, created in the late seventh-century by monks at the twin monasteries of Wearmouth-Jarrow, will be the focal point of an innovative display partnership between the Library and the North East. It will be exhibited in the region where it was created for half the time that it is on display.

See it online here.

Former chief Executive of the British Library, Dame Lynne Brindley, comments,

“I would like to pay tribute to the donors who have made this acquisition possible – and particularly the NHMF, who recognised the crucial importance of the St Cuthbert Gospel to our nation’s heritage, and who granted a remarkable £4.5 million – the largest single grant for an acquisition that the Library has ever received. We are similarly grateful to the other major donors, and the many hundreds of people who made individual donations. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure the Gospel for the nation and we were both grateful and touched that so many people felt moved to support our campaign.”

We are delighted to recognise the generosity of the following donors who have enabled us to acquire the St Cuthbert Gospel:

National Heritage Memorial Fund
Dr Edward Pennington Abson
Art Fund
Garfield Weston Foundation
Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust
Anonymous donor, given through Durham Cathedral
J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust
Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Voluntary Settlement
Foyle Foundation
American Trust for the British Library
Friends of the British Library
Friends of the National Libraries
Kirby Laing Foundation
Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation
Cynthia Lovelace Sears
William Zachs
Paul Chrzanowski
P F Charitable Trust
Mark and Liza Loveday
Graham Guest
Judith Fairhurst
Friends of Durham Cathedral
John Wates Charitable Trust

And many other individuals, and donors who wish to remain anonymous.

Zena main photo

For over 20 years I've used the wide resources of the British Library, especially when researching. Respect!

Elisabeth Titley main photo

I first became interested in the early Anglo Saxon church in Northumbria whilst on holiday in the area and visiting Lindisfarne. Since then I studied Anglo Saxon England in my final year of a history and archaeology degree at Nottingham as a mature student. As a Christian I have led a church trip to Lindisfarne, visited other areas connected with him, and am off to Lindisfarne yet again soon. To save this amazing book that belonged to St Cuthbert is of vital importance to the nation and especially to me.

Elisabeth Titley