Grant documentation


Resources for existing grant holders

If you are a grant holder, all the templates, guidelines and forms you require can be found here.

Information for applicants

The Endangered Archives Programme offers approximately 30 grants each year to enable researchers to locate vulnerable archival collections, arrange their transfer wherever possible to a suitable local archival home, and deliver digital copies into the international research domain via the British Library.

These grants are the primary means by which Arcadia contributes to the urgent task of identifying, preserving and making accessible such archival collections before they are lost forever.

There are three main types of grant:

  • Pilot projects investigate the potential for and/or feasibility of a larger grant. A pilot can also be a small digitisation project. They should last for no more than 12 months and have a budget limit of £15,000.
  • Major projects gather, digitise, and make available material. This type of grant may also relocate the material to a more secure location/institution within the country. These projects usually last 12 months and no more than 24 months. They have a budget limit of £60,000.
  • Area grants may be awarded for larger-scale projects. They are similar to a major grant, but larger in scale and ambition. Applicants must demonstrate an outstanding track record of archival preservation work and be associated with an institution that has the capacity to facilitate a large-scale project. The EAP will award a maximum of two area grants in this round. They can last for up to 24 months and have a budget limit of £150,000. It is important that you contact the EAP office if you are considering applying for this type of grant. Proposals that have not been discussed with EAP staff ahead of the closing date are unlikely to be successful.

Grants awarded in this round are expected to start in October 2019.

During 2019, the programme will offer an additional type of grant:

  • Rapid response grants may be used to safeguard an archive that is in immediate and severe danger. These grants are intended for the situations in which the time scale of the standard EAP decision process could result in extensive damage to the material. These grants will be accepted on a rolling basis. They must last for less than 12 months and have a budget limit of £15,000. This type of grant will be available for the first time in 2019 and EAP anticipates awarding a small number of such grants during the first year.

Please note: We held a live Q&A webinar on Friday 2nd November 2018 that gave the opportunity for potential applicants to ask questions about all aspects of the application process. To view the presentation and a write-up of the Q&A please click here.

How to Apply

The call for applications process for Round 15 is now closed. For reference the application documentation, and detailed application form for those who have been notified that they are through to the detailed stage, can be found here.

Application Process

EAP uses a two-stage grant application process. In the first stage, you submit a preliminary application. These are short applications that outline the proposed activity. Following review, a subset of applicants are invited to progress gto the second stage and submit a detailed application. These longer documents provide a full description of the project including content to be digitised (showing a fit to the programme, the case for endangerment, and research value), the project team (demonstrating you will have the needed skills), the project plan, and the budget. It is especially important to provide clear evidence of rights and permissions to digitise and make the digitised content available. The detailed applicants are reviewed and vetted by an extended expert team.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the EAP team with any questions that they might have. Our goal is to help you to create strong clear proposals that lead to successful projects.

To get an idea, in recent years we have seen around 120 preliminary applicants. Of these around 60 are invited to submit detailed applications and 30 grants are awarded.

Schedule for Round 15

24 September 2018: Call for applications opens
19 November 2018: Closing date for submissions at midday GMT
21 December 2018: Successful applicants will be notified and invited to submit a detailed application
15 February 2019: Deadline for detailed applications at midday GMT
May 2019: Notification of Panel decision

Criteria for assessing applications

Applications will be evaluated against three broad criteria:

  1. Content of archive

The case for the material to be digitised must cover the following areas:

  • Endangerment. Demonstrate that the material is vulnerable due to human/political neglect and/or environmental threats; demonstrate that there is an urgent need to safeguard the material.
  • Research value. Demonstrate the uniqueness and cultural importance of the material and that it is/will be a valuable resource for research.
  • Age of material. Show that the material in scope for the project is pre-modern/pre-industrial.
  • Legal and ethical rights to digitise the material and make it available online for research. You must have the permission of the collection’s owners to digitise the materials and make them available. You must also describe the copyright status of the materials and whether there are any data protection issues associated with them.
  1. Project team

You must have the following information about the team you propose to put together to work on the project:

  • Track record of principal applicant. Show that you have the experience and skills needed to carry out the project successfully. If you lack any specific skills, you may include a co-applicant provides them or other plans to fill the gaps.
  • Staffing plan. If you are assembling a new team, you must explain how this will be done and how you will ensure that your team has people with the specific skills required for the project (e.g., material handling, cataloguing, and digitising).
  • Skills within the team: You will need to identify what skills your project will require (language skills, project-management and financial skills, metadata, technical skills for handling equipment and vulnerable material). Demonstrate how you will ensure that the team you put together is made up of people who meet these requirements.
  • Knowledge within the team. Demonstrate that you and your proposed team understand the material, its condition and its research and cultural value. Indicate knowledge of the relevant languages relevant languages, and scripts of the materials in the archive.


  1. Project plan

In the proposal you must outline an effective plan and show that you have addressed the following questions:

  • Feasibility. Do you understand the practicalities and logistics of the project? Is the time frame reasonable? Are the team available at the time specified? Has a risk assessment been done? Have all costs been taken into account? Who is going to oversee the finances at your institution?
  • Local capacity building. Wherever possible, he project should create the opportunity for future archival and digitisation work to be carried out in the region where the archive is located. Include a plan in your application for the period after the project is completed, outlining what will happen to the equipment and how the training and experience of the team will be put to further use.
  • Value for money. Provide justification for the cost of all equipment, salaries, and travel. Equipment outside of the recommended items requires a clear justification and should be cleared with EAP in advance of submission. Host Institutions should, within their means, make appropriate financial contributions to these costs.
  • Budget. Ensure that the budget is both comprehensive and realistic. Does it cover not only the costs of equipment but also of getting them through customs and to the site(s)? Have you allocated for the incidental costs such as network or electricity?  Have you got actual current costs to ensure that you are not over/under estimating?



Alternative funding

Documenting Global Voices

Documenting Global Voices (DGV) is a grant programme that enables organisations holding at-risk materials as well as faculty, researchers, and cultural heritage specialists to digitise analogue materials or to collect and make accessible existing digital assets. All the digital files will be publicly accessible via a UCLA Library-hosted website.

Content scope includes rare and unique materials from the 19th century to the present of historical, cultural, and social significance from regions with limited resources for archival preservation.

Call for preliminary proposals has closed for 2018/19.

Cultural Emergency and Response programme (CER)

If your archive is acutely threatened by a natural or man-made disaster and needs immediate action to safeguard it, the Prince Claus Fund, through its Cultural Emergency Response (CER) programme, and the Whiting Foundation together offer small grants for first aid measures to protect documentary heritage under direct threat. Your documentary heritage does not necessarily have to date back to the pre-industrial period, but it needs to have clear significance to an identified group of people. The first deadline for applications is 16 September 2018 at 17:00 Amsterdam time (CET). The second deadline for applications is 1 December 2018 at 17:00 Amsterdam time (CET). Applications received after the second deadline cannot be considered.