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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 Placeholder

Building Early Accra: Preserving Historical Building Permits in Ghana

Accra was the first settlement in Ghana to keep written records. The archives of the city hold important documents detailing urban development and cities in Africa, histories …

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Eap 1160

Documenting royalty through the changing political culture in Kongu Nadu, South India, 1400-1950

Kongu Nadu is one of the earliest cultural areas in ancient Tamil land. The documents held by chieftains in the region are of great interest to historians, anthropologists, so…

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Eap 1153

Preservation of audio recordings, and accompanying documentation of music and folklore of Western Rajasthan

Rajasthan’s cultural heritage is heavily based on oral traditions. Professional bards and musicians of the region recite traditional epics, with puppetry and music. Recordings…

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EAP1150 1 0

Fragile palm leaves digitisation initiative

The Fragile Palm Leaf Foundation (FPL) holds hundreds of unknown and unstudied manuscripts and texts. Access to this vast collection would revolutionise the study of Theravāda…

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Eap 1149

The Monastic Manuscript Project: Preservation of the Archives of Śaiva Monastic Lineages

Over the past few decades, scholars of Śaivism have recovered a wealth of manuscripts that have revolutionised our understanding of the place of Śaivism in the religious histo…

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Workmeeting EAP1145 Bulgaria2018 1 1

Documentary heritage of the traditional Protestant communities in Bulgaria

The history of Balkan and Bulgarian Protestants is still little to the general audience. Persecuted by the communist government, Protestant Bulgarians hold documents containin…

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Eap 1144

Takoradi Railway Workers' Archives Digitisation Project

At the peak of its activity, the Ghana Railway Corporation (GRC) counted 11,000 employees. The archives held in Takoradi create a snapshot of the labour history of Ghana. Heav…

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Eap 1143

The Birth of a Nation: preserving records on the Kenya-Uganda railway line

The Nairobi Railway Museum’s collection contains records on the Kenya-Uganda railway constructed between 1896 and 1901. The collection sheds light on East Africa’s social and …

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EAP1130 U 52 00836

Digitisation of the Kováts Napfényműterem photographic archive (Odorheiu Secuiesc, Romania)

Ferenczy Lukács and Kováts István Sr. were not only photographers, but also historians and ethnographers. Their photographs depict life in Transylvania between 1880 and 1925. …

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