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Endangered Archives Programme (EAP)

To establish a grants programme that funds projects to digitise neglected, vulnerable or inaccessible archives from across the world. The digitised materials are available for free online.

The Endangered Archives Programme (EAP) facilitates the digitisation of archives around the world that are in danger of destruction, neglect or physical deterioration. Thanks to generous funding from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, we have provided grants to more than 400 projects in 90 countries worldwide, in over 100 languages and scripts.

Archive types digitised so far include rare printed sources, manuscripts, visual materials, audio recordings. This continually expanding online collection is available freely through the British Library website and local archival partners, for research, inspiration and enjoyment.

Summaries of individual projects funded by EAP can also be found on the Culture in Crisis portal. These summaries were created from EAP project proposals and final reports. They have been edited for consistency but retain the original language of the applicants and project leads.

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Endangered Archives Programme (EAP) Projects

Eap 1247

Songs of the Old Madmen: Recovering Baul Songs from the Note-Books of 19th and 20th Century Bengali Saint-Composers

The songs of the Bauls are composed by gurus and performed by itinerant folk musicians. They are transmitted among low-caste communities in India and Bangladesh, where they ar…

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Eap 1245

Digitising Pulaar Islamic Texts: Six Archives of the Taal Families in Senegal and Mali

During the efforts to preserve pre-modern Islamic manuscripts in West Africa, important volumes of Pulaar Ajami writings have been left out. Detailing the islamisation of the …

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Eap 1234

Preservation of Film Negatives of the Elias del Aguila Collection of the Historical Archive of Centro de la Imagen

Even though he was the favourite photographer of Lima’s middle class, until 2015 Elias el Aguila was practically unknown. Over 7000 photographic negatives of his collection ar…

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Meap 1231

Digitisation of Nyasaland District Administration Reports

The Nyasaland District Administration Reports contain the records of the British colonial rule in Malawi. Dated 1891 to 1964, they collect the district’s activities and develo…

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Eap 1228

Locating and Sampling Arabic and Arabic-Malayalam Manuscripts in Kerala, South India

The Arabic and Arabic Malayalam literature of Kerala (Malabar) constitutes an important, under-researched link in the history of intellectual and religious networks in the pre…

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EAP Placeholder

The Jerba Libraries Project: Preserving Endangered Manuscripts and Early Arabic Print Materials in Private Libraries in Jerba, Tunisia

Private libraries in Djerba (Tunisia) contain a variety of material which would offer scholars, local families, and institutions a window into the island’s past. However, held…

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EAP1213 Buppha Saramat at National Library of Thailand resized 0

Sounds of Siam Archive: Siamese/Thai 78 rpm Gramophone Records from 1903-1960

In 1903, Fred Gaisberg and George Dillnutt conducted the first Asian recording expedition for the Gramophone Company. The recording represents the beginning of the recording t…

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Digitisation of Documentary Heritage of the Colombian Caribbean in the Maritime Port of Cartagena de Indias

Cartagena de Indias was one of the most important centres of the Spanish crown in the 18th century. Though it is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its archival document…

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Eap 1167

Safeguarding Colonial Plantation Records of Malawi

Between 1891 and 1964, the British Protectorate of Nyasaland (Malawi) saw the establishment of plantations of tea and tobacco. This marked the transition from rudimentary agri…

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