The Endangered Languages Documentation Programme (ELDP) provides grants worldwide for the linguistic documentation of endangered languages and knowledge. Grantees conduct fieldwork and create multimedia collections of endangered languages. These audio-visual collections are preserved, and made freely available through the digital Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR).
The Endangered Languages Documentation Programme (ELDP) was founded in 2002 with a donation of £20 million from the Arcadia Fund. Arcadia Fund is a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. Arcadia serves humanity by preserving endangered cultural heritage and ecosystems. Because knowledge should belong to all, Arcadia also promotes open access, seeking to make information available without barriers of cost or distance.
ELDP was housed at SOAS University of London, UK from 2002. Arcadia renewed the grant in April 2015 with another £7.24 million for five more years. In 2021, Arcadia renewed the programme for 10 years with €21 million and the programme moved together with the Endangered Languages Archive to the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
Since inception we have been dedicated to our mission: the preservation of endangered languages globally. Our mandate is to support the documentation and preservation of endangered languages by funding especially junior scholars and documenters worldwide to conduct field work and to archive their documentary collections and make them freely available.
Every year, we provide between 30-40 grants for documentation projects around the world (see our project list or the project map an overview of our funded documentation projects). We run trainings for our ELDP grantees through annually. We also train scholars through our in-country schools (customised trainings). Previous trainings took place in Ghana, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Russia, China, Mexico and Indonesia.
Through our training, funding and outreach work we have created a network of specialists around the world who continue to document endangered languages, educate new generations of scholars, conduct research on these languages and support us in our work.