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Arcadia

Arcadia serves humanity by preserving endangered cultural heritage and ecosystems.

We protect complexity and work against the entropy of ravaged and thereby starkly simplified natural environments and globalized cultures. Innovation and change occur best in already complex systems. Once memories, knowledge, skills, variety, and intricacy disappear – once the old complexities are lost – they are hard to replicate or replace. Arcadia aims to return to people both their memories and their natural surroundings. What we want to preserve remains fragile, small and dispersed. But if we do not protect it – if it vanishes forever – then future generations will have no base from which to build a vibrant, resilient, green future.

Because knowledge should belong to all, we also promote open access, seeking to make information available without barriers of cost or distance. Charities, businesses, universities, schools, the media, politicians, and citizens all benefit when research and data are no longer locked behind paywalls or reserved for those who live near their repositories. The economy benefits too from better-informed decisions, improved schooling and knowledgeable citizens, from enhanced academic research and innovation based on shared knowledge.

We do not accept applications, but seek and support organizations run by exceptional individuals, operating in a cost-effective, scientifically sound, and ethical manner that share our vision.

Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin

Funder Website

Arcadia Projects

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The Biobio Legacy: Mapuche-Pehuenche Organizing and Resistance in Chile

Throughout the 1990’s to the early 2000’s, the indigenous Mapuche-Pehuenche community of Chile organized against plans to build hydroelectric dams in the historical BioBio Riv…

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MEAP UCLA

Preserving and publishing the largest Afro-Uruguayan multi-media archive

The Black community in Uruguay was persecuted and evicted from their historic neighborhoods in Montevideo during the 1973-1984 dictatorship. These archives represent the acts …

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MEAP UCLA

Memory of Brazil's Landless Rural Workers Movement - MST

The Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) archive provides a unique perspective on the formation and operation of civil society movements. This archive preserves the organizat…

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MEAP UCLA

South Asian Film Magazines

Nigar Weekly have documented and preserved part of South Asia's diverse cinematic heritage. This project aims to use these materials to constitute a unique source of historica…

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MEAP UCLA

Curation and digitalization of the Instituto de Lengua y Cultura Aymara archive

The ILCA archives contain unique interrelated materials on Aymara language and culture. Collaborating anthropologists have collected and stored rare pamphlets and newspapers, …

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JADEAS Trust Archive

The Jadeas Trust Library archive of J.F. Ade-Ajayi, dynamic co-founder of the Ibadan History School and champion of the intellectual movement of “quiet revolutionaries” decolo…

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Preserving HUMUN BICHIG newspaper through digitization

"The Humun Bichig newspaper has served as a rare resource written in traditional Mongolian script and contains valued cultural works by prominent Mongolian poets, scholars, sp…

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Voices of Pre-Industrial Siberia: Collections of the Pushkin House

The Pushkin House archive has been one of the largest collections of Siberian indigenous voice recordings in the world. Equipped with accompanying archival and photographic re…

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MEAP UCLA

Leaders and Militants of Mexican Anarchism - The Flores Magón Trace in Buried Archives

The story of the Flores Magon brothers, anarchists in Mexico's community of Melchor Ocampo, has remained a local myth until the discovery of materials collected by radical act…

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