The British Library Endangered Archives Programme (EAP) helps preserve material located in areas around the world where resources (and opportunities) are limited or lacking. The programme facilitates the digitisation of archives that are in danger of destruction, neglect or physical deterioration and has provided more than 400 projects in 90 countries worldwide, in over 100 languages and scripts.

Since 2004, the EAP has digitised more than seven million images and 25.000 sound tracks. This includes rare printed sources, manuscripts, visual materials and audio recordings, all available freely through local archival partners and the British Library catalogue.

Each year the Programme awards grants to researchers to identify and preserve culturally important archives.

“The Endangered Archives Programme captures forgotten and still not written histories, often suppressed or marginalised. It gives voice to the voiceless: it opens a dialogue with global humanity’s multiple pasts. It is a library of history still waiting to be written.”
Lisbet Rausing, Co-founder of the Endangered Archives Programme

The Programme offers four types of grant. They awarded in May/June and normally expected to start in August/September each year.

  • Pilot project grants can either involve investigating the potential for a major project through a survey, or they may be small digitisation projects. These projects should last for no more than 12 months and have a budget limit of £15,000.
  • Major project grants are intended for digitisation and cataloguing of a collection or collections. This type of grant may involve preservation necessary for digitisation, and may also relocate the material to a more secure location/institution within the country. These projects can last for up to 24 months and have a budget limit of £60,000.
  • Area grants are similar to a major grant, but larger in scale and ambition. The Programme will award a maximum of two area grants in each funding round. They can last for up to 24 months and have a budget limit of £150,000.
  • Rapid Response grants will be introduced in late 2019. They are intended to safeguard an archive in immediate and severe danger. These grants will be accepted on a rolling basis. They should last for less than six months and have a budget limit of £10,000.

The preliminary round is from September to early November.


To find out more, visit the EAP page or apply directly on their website.