Endangered archives blog

News about the projects saving vulnerable material from around the world

14 September 2015

Call for Applications 2015

Do you know of any collections that merit preservation? The Endangered Archives Programme is now accepting grant applications for the next annual funding round – the deadline for submission of preliminary applications is 6 November 2015 and full details of the application procedures and documentation are available on the EAP website.

Interior of a wooden building without a roof. Archives are stacked randomly on shelves and on the floor

The Bolama collection, Guinea-Bissau

The Endangered Archives Programme has been running at the British Library since 2004 through funding by Arcadia, with the aim of preserving rare vulnerable archival material around the world. This aim is achieved through the award of grants to relocate the material to a safe local archival home where possible, to digitise the material, and to deposit copies with local archival partners and with the British Library. These digital collections are then available for researchers to access freely through the British Library website or by visiting the local archives. The digital collections from 144 projects are currently available online, nearly 5 million images.

An Ethiopic manuscript, illustration of an angel on left page and text on the rightEAP254/1/39: "Gädlä Täklä Haymanot "The Acts of Täklä Haymanot" [19th century]

The Programme has helped to preserve manuscripts, rare printed books, newspapers and periodicals, audio and audio-visual materials, photographs and even rock inscriptions. Since 2004 approximately 270 projects have been funded, ranging from rare books in Armenia to Cham manuscripts in Vietnam.

An open suitcase with manuscripts destroyed by insects. A woman looks through some of the manuscripts.EAP531: Preserving the endangered manuscripts of the Cham people in Vietnam 

One of the most popular collections is photographs from the Maison Bonfils, depicting scenery and portraits from across the Middle East during the period 1867-1910. The Bonfils family established the first photographic studio in Beirut in 1867, with Lydie Bonfils the first professional woman photographer of the region.

View looking down at the Jaffna Gate with several horse-drawn carriages waiting for customers.EAP644/1/9 Outside Jaffa gate, Jerusalem c 1867-c 1914 - Maison Bonfils

In February 2015, Endangered Archives celebrated its 10th anniversary with a selection of articles written by past and present grantholders in the open access publication: ‘From Dust to Digital’. Browse some of these fascinating and very different articles for an insight into just a few of the projects that have been funded.

A single page with Arabic scriptEAP087/1/1: Letter from Muhammad Bello to the Emir of Bauchi Yaqub. [Between 1882-1893] Nigeria

  Studio portrait of three children. The two boys play musical instruments (violin and lute) the younger girl in the middle, holds the side of her dress possibly to show a dancing pose.EAP001/1/1: Photographs from Esfahan taken by Minas Patkerhanian Machertich [1900-1970s]

Cathy Collins

EAP Grants Administrator




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