THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Endangered archives blog

31 October 2017

EAP Call for Applications - The Clock is Ticking

It’s that time of year again. In London the nights are getting longer, the weather is more unpredictable, and we have a new office on the fifth floor of the Library with a stunning view of the ribbed rook of St Pancras station and the clock– as well as more sky than we’ve been used to in our previous home.

Photo of St Pancras roof

The other annual milestone is that the next call for applications for grants under the EAP is now open! This will be the 14th round for the BL and Arcadia (and my first). Each year we seem to get a bigger post bag as the word gets round. The International Panel considers all the applications and they will be looking for material that fits the eight criteria as listed in the Guidelines for Applicants (see page 3): urgency, vulnerability, significance, feasibility, age of material, expertise and experience of the team, professional development and capacity building, and access. The Panel will also be looking for applications where they can understand what it is that the end user – be they researcher or casual user – will see on the screen.

The applicants shouldn’t assume that the Panel are experts in archives in all formats and from every corner of the world. They need to be helped to make sense of the applications at speed – in terms of what they might fund and why. In short, the application needs to tell a concise but compelling story about the material and the need for the project. You can send one indicative photo, but don’t run the risk of your application not getting through because the file is too big.

We know that it is hard to apply for any kind of funding. But institutions often have teams dedicated to helping employees navigate the application process; they can help colleagues to understand how to create a budget, how to sort out rights and permissions and how to express their idea in a few concise sentences. Applicants must make clear from the outset that they – and the owners of the archives they are wanting to digitise – understand the implications of putting content on the internet.

The working language of the Endangered Archives Programme is English, and application forms must be written in English but, in an attempt to increase the geographical coverage and improve the quality of the applications we are providing supporting notes in a number of other languages. If you still need advice, we are available to respond to queries, but chances are that we’ll encourage you to re-read the guidance and apply it to your own situation; you’re much better placed to write about your project than we are.

Ruth Hansford, Grants Portfolio Manager