Prince Caspian

A dust-jacket of CS Lewis’s personal copy of Prince Caspian: The return to Narnia, 1951. Photo: The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford © CS Lewis Company.

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During 2023, 48 items have been allocated to museums, galleries, archives and libraries with a value of more than £52m.

They have been accepted for the nation via the Arts Council England’s (ACE) schemes. Highlights include books and manuscripts of CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien, two volumes of poems by Robert Burns inscribed by the poet, original scripts from TV programme Spitting Image, two sculptures by artist Barbara Hepworth and a ceramic by artist potter Magdalene Odundo.

The books and manuscripts of CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien come from the late Walter Hooper collection. After Lewis’ death, Hooper (1931-2020) became his literary executor.

JRR Tolkein manuscript

A manuscript of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil c.1962 by JRR Tolkien.

Included in the archive is their unpublished correspondence, Lewis’ personal copy of Prince Caspian, personal items such as Lewis’ desk, pipes and a pair of spectacles as well as manuscripts by Tolkien.

The books and manuscripts have been permanently allocated to the Bodleian Library and the personal possessions to The Story Museum, Oxford, initially on a temporary basis subject to a review.

'Spirits of Bondage' book

The title page of Clive Hamilton (pseudonym of CS Lewis), Spirits of Bondage, 1919. A first edition, signed by the author. Photo: The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford © CS Lewis Pte Ltd.

For the first time in the annual report ACE has detailed how a museum acquiring an object through the schemes will benefit public collections and its audience.

Sir Nicholas Serota, chair of ACE, said: "The astonishing variety of objects accepted for the nation this year will enrich the cultural experience of more people in more places across the UK, from Northern Ireland to Canterbury. It is inspiring to see from this report how past acquisitions have enhanced collections and have had a positive impact on institutions and their audiences. I want to thank the panel for sharing their expertise to assist the Arts Council in its continuing support for museums."

Earlier this month Art Fund and ACE published a new report titled “Everybody is a winner”: A guide to giving (and selling) art and cultural artefacts to UK museums and galleries, which sets out the various schemes available to owners that might be interested in making tax savings and/or looking for support with finding the right museum home for an object or collection.

Read more about what art and objects are part of the Cultural Gifts and Acceptance in Lieu schemes and which institution will have them on display.