Adopt a manuscript – Frequently asked questions
Find out how you can become one of the John Murray Archive 'Four o'Clock Friends' at the National Library of Scotland by adopting a manuscript.
- How do I adopt a John Murray Archive manuscript?
- What are the 'Four o'Clock Friends?'
- What happens when I make payment?
- Can I pay online?
- What if the item I would like to adopt is not on your list?
- Can more than one person adopt the same manuscript?
- Can I adopt a manuscript as a gift?
- Can my donation be gift aided?
- Can I adopt from overseas?
- How will my donation make a difference?
- Can I make a larger donation?
- How do I find out more?
1. How do I adopt a John Murray Archive manuscript?
- Decide on the level of gift you would like to make. Most manuscripts available for adoption are valued at £1,000-£5,000.
- Select the item you would like to adopt at this level
- Choose whether you would like to receive the gift or send it to a friend
- Complete and return the adoption form (PDF) (25 KB; 2 pages) with your cheque or bank details.
2. What are the 'Four o'Clock Friends?'
Our John Murray Archive 'Four o'Clock Friends' are supporters of the National Library of Scotland who have adopted a manuscript from the Murray publishing archive.
John Murray II ran his successful publishing house from 50 Albemarle Street in the fashionable west end of London. He hosted regular meetings of authors and friends in his drawing room, forming a network of contacts and supporters which Sir Walter Scott called Murray's 'Four o'Clock Friends'.
3. What happens when I make payment?
You will receive an email acknowledgement immediately on making payment and you will receive the following within 7 working days:
- A certificate
- An online acknowledgement
- An acknowledgement on the item or its container at the National Library of Scotland - for example, a bookplate.
4. Can I pay online?
At the moment you can only adopt a manuscript by completing and returning the adoption form by post. You can also contact the Library's Development team to make payment by telephone.
We are working towards also offering you the option of adopting a manuscript online.
5. What if the item I would like to adopt is not on your list?
If a John Murray Archive item that you would like to adopt is not on the adoption list, contact us and we will try to help. We will update the adoption list as items get sponsored.
6. Can more than one person adopt the same manuscript?
No, only one donor will be recognised online as adopting a John Murray Archive manuscript and we will only issue only one certificate. The first person to make payment for the adopted manuscript will be recognised as its sole donor.
7. Can I adopt a manuscript as a gift?
Yes, and you can choose to send your gift direct to the recipient. It makes a personal gift for special occasions, including birthdays, weddings, graduations and retirements. You can also choose to adopt a manuscript in memory of a loved one.
8. Can my donation be gift aided?
Yes, the National Library of Scotland is a registered charity and your donation qualifies for Gift Aid tax relief.
9. Can I adopt from overseas?
Yes, but allow extra time for the certificate to reach you.
USA-based donors can donate through the American Associates of NLS (AANLS), a registered charity.
10. How will my donation make a difference?
Your donation will help us to preserve, enhance and increase access to our national collection and ensure that it is enjoyed for generations to come.
11. Can I make a larger donation?
Yes, we have some iconic manuscript adoptions for gifts of over £5,000. In addition to your certificate you will receive:
- A behind-the-scenes tour of the national collection with a curator and the opportunity to view your adopted item
- Invitations to a series of special events at the Library, including exhibition previews.
12. How do I find out more about adopting a manuscript?
Contact us by email or telephone and we will be happy to help:
National Library of Scotland
Tel: +44 (0)131 623 3804