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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

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Preserving Endangered Archives on Ismailism and Central Asian Cultural Heritage at Semyonov’s Library in Tajikistan

While travelling across the Near East and Central Asia in the 19th and 20th centuries, Soviet historian Aleksandr Semyonov collected material around the history and culture of…

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Eap 935

Safeguarding the British Colonial and Regional Administrative Archive in Northern Ghana

The Public Records and Archives Administration (PRAAD) in Tamale, northern Ghana, holds rare historical records of the British colonial administration of the Northern Territor…

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EAP931 Pub001

Conserving Indigenous Memories of Land Privatisation in Mexico: Michoacán’s Libros de Hijuelas, 1719-1929

In the 19th century, Mexico underwent the process of privatisation of indigenous lands. The process was recorded through the hijuelas – deed books. The books were physically a…

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Eap 927

Digitisation and preservation of rare historical sources of Mongolia written in the 19th and early 20th centuries

Mongolian Academy of Sciences (MAS) and the National Library of Mongolia hold in their collections 3,000 rare, unpublished manuscripts from the 19th and 20th century. These co…

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Eap 922

Digitisation and conservation of endangered paper records of the British Indian Association

The British Indian Association, founded in 1851, was one of the earliest political associations of Indian colonial subjects. The archive is an invaluable research resource on …

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Eap921 1 3 41

Early-modern texts and modern legacies: Digitisation of Manuscripts, Books, Newspapers in southern West Bengal

Private and institutional collections in southern West Bengal hold manuscripts and books that show the literary multilingual culture, along with runs of the newspaper Nihar, w…

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Preserving Malawi endangered historical District Notebooks: 1891-1964

During the formative years of the colonial administration in Malawi, district notebooks functioned as intermediaries between orality and literacy. British administrators used …

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Preservation and access of rare early Grantha books

Grantha script was widely used in South India to write Sanskrit material. After the arrival of printing machines, many Sanskrit texts were published in Grantha script. During …

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EAP915 Pub001

Pilot project for endangered Arabic manuscripts in Ivory Coast

Although many authors have mentioned the existence of manuscripts in Ivory Coast, information about their location, extent and content remains unclear. Kept in private librari…

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