Principles of the Endangered Archives Programme
The Endangered Archives Programme (EAP) seeks to preserve cultural heritage and make it available to as wide an audience as possible. To achieve this we provide grants to applicants to digitise and document archives. ‘Endangered’ means material that is at risk of loss or decay, and is located in countries where resources and opportunities to preserve such material are lacking or limited. ‘Archives’ refers to materials in written, pictorial or audio formats, including manuscripts, rare printed books, documents, newspapers, periodicals, photographs and sound recordings. The material can date from any time before the middle of the twentieth century, though archives that cross over to some extent into the second half of the twentieth century may be accepted if the majority of the material is earlier. It is one of our key principles that the original material remains in the country in which it is located.
Digitisation and digital collections
The Endangered Archives Programme primarily funds digitisation projects to record and preserve the content of archives. Our projects create digital material in a format that facilitates long-term preservation, and at least two copies of these are stored: a primary copy that remains at an appropriate repository in the country of origin, and a secondary copy held at the British Library. Applicants must ensure that the appropriate permissions are gained before embarking on the project, as copyright in the material will remain with the copyright holder. The EAP website provides access to these digital collections for research, education and enjoyment. We do not however distribute high resolution, print quality versions of images, referring requests for these back to the original holders of the archive. We also seek to ensure that the values of the people and communities from which the archives have come are respected and that they are consulted in any significant re-use of the digital material.
How EAP projects work
The Endangered Archives Programme welcomes applications for project funding to investigate, digitise and preserve the content of archives. We expect projects to enhance local capability to manage and preserve these collections into the future. Therefore all applications for funding must involve at least one archival partner in the country where the material is based, training should be provided for local staff, and digitisation equipment must remain in the country. Applications are made via a host institution, such as a university, library or government archive which administers the award. The host institution can be based anywhere in the world, though applications from those based in the project country are particularly welcomed.
More about the Endangered Archives Programme
Engagement & Impact provides some examples of how our collections are used
Who's Who on the EAP Advisory Panel and the team in London
Annual Report 2022 (PDF download)
Annual Report 2021 (PDF download)
Annual Report 2020 (PDF download)