The Endangered Archives Programme Grant

Publish Date: Sep 02, 2016

Deadline: Nov 04, 2016

Research Grants

The Endangered Archives Programme offers a number of grants every year to individual researchers world-wide to locate vulnerable archival collections, to arrange their transfer wherever possible to a suitable local archival home, and to deliver digital copies into the international research domain via the British Library.

NB The specific focus of this Programme is upon archives relating to the pre-industrial stages of a society's development, normally located in countries where resources and opportunities to preserve such material are limited.

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

How to Apply

The 2017 call for applications is now open.

The deadline for submitting completed application forms is the 4th November 2016. This year we are introducing an online preliminary application form which can be accessed in the "Further official information" link below this article. Please ensure you have read the full documentation before completing the form.


All grants must be administered by a recognised non-commercial institution in the field of education, research or archival/library management. Such institutions will be directly responsible for receiving and ensuring the proper use of funds and will be expected to account for such use on a regular basis. It is normally expected that the Principal Applicant will be employed by the Host Institution. A specific case will need to be made for the Principal Applicant to have a Host Institution by which they are not employed.

Exceptionally, Principal Applicants not affiliated to a recognised higher education, research or archive/library institution can apply as an Independent Researcher, provided that they can offer references, including details of relevant experience and track-record of delivery in past projects. In these cases grant recipients will work directly with the British Library, which will administer their grants. Receipts will be required to be submitted with the Final Report for all items of expenditure over £100.

Eligible applicants

  • Any accredited member of teaching or research faculty, and any registered post-graduate researcher, at a recognised UK or overseas university or similar higher education institution. PhD candidates will only be considered for an award in exceptional circumstances and where the applicant has a proven track record of
    grant and project management. In such a case, a letter of support must be provided from their supervisor, giving approval for the candidate to undertake the project and detailing how the project relates to the PhD.
  • Archivists and librarians with responsibilities for special collections in a recognised UK or overseas archives, national or research library, or similar institution. NB Current employees of the British Library are not eligible to apply.
    Independent Researchers (see 6.1.2 above).

Eligible costs include

  • The fees or salaries of relatively junior researchers helping with the tasks of seeking, identifying and gathering the material.
  • The cost of copying original material, including equipment, and re-locating and installing it in an archive (including the initial filing and the composition of finding lists, but not archival overheads or running costs).
  • Teaching relief where an academic principal investigator needs to spend considerable time in the field away from official teaching duties, and contributions to salary costs where an archivist has to be in the field for a prolonged period.
  • Travel and subsistence, directly relevant office operations and supplies.
  • Training costs. The Programme is keen to enhance the professional skills of local staff, to increase the local capacity to preserve and manage collections in the long term. Applicants are therefore encouraged, if possible, to incorporate training and professional development in their grant proposal, which can be in areas such as archival collection management or technical training in digitising techniques.
  • Basic preservation measures for the original material, such as acid-free storage boxes.
  • The cost of developing a project website to host the digital collection.
  • Disseminating the results from the project, such as conference talks or public/educational displays, especially where they are aimed at informing local people.

Ineligible costs.

These include institutional overheads, capital building and refurbishment projects, routine infrastructure and staffing costs, physical conservation of original materials, extensive cataloguing or archive management

General requirements

  • Although applications are to be submitted by individuals, each grant will normally be administered and accounted for by the institution (university or archive or similar institution) to which the principal applicant belongs. Applications must therefore be approved by the relevant institution (see Award Conditions), and applicants should be confident of the agreement of an eligible institutional representative before submitting a proposal.
  • Applicants may only submit one application in each round of funding.
  • Where an established archive is to be involved, either to receive original material or copies, or to allow the copying of material it already possesses, applications must include a representative of the archive. Normally an application will be expected to identify the intended archival home for any particular collection and for an archivist from that institution to be named as joint applicant. The archival institution will be required to state its undertaking to any collection(s) received regarding standards of storage, documentation, access and long term preservation.
  • Applications from state institutions requesting support for the preservation of their own holdings should demonstrate some contribution in kind, such as the provision of staff time, training or room hire.
  • Where national or state records are being copied then the Programme would need confirmation that the appropriate governmental department had been consulted.
  • Where it is intended to remove official records from the country of origin, whether in national, state, corporate or private possession, even temporarily for the purposes of copying or treatment, then explicit written approval for this must be obtained from the highest governmental level.
  • For all classes of material to be removed from the country of origin, all local export/import formalities must be observed and proof of compliance provided to the Endangered Archives Programme.
  • Where very important material cannot be re-located, or is already in a specialised archive but is vulnerable, arrangements for copying, and the location of the copies, should be agreed beforehand.
  • All applications should contain information concerning copying techniques [conforming to standards indicated in the Copying and the Listing Guidelines] and
    the proposed location[s] in addition to the British Library in which copies will be deposited.
  • Applicants should normally have good reason to suppose that adequate and relevant records actually exist and that owners are likely to co-operate in relocation or copying, although the detection of new material would be an important aspect of most grants. However, the extent, actual location[s], and availability of material may well not be known in every case. In such cases, applications for pilot projects should be made. An equally important prerequisite is that there is good reason to believe that the researcher has the confidence of the owners.
  • The Programme will not normally support expenditure to purchase archival material, but some kind of recompense payment may be permitted in exceptional cases. In such cases, the application should include a detailed account of the particular circumstances of the collection in question and the reasons why a payment may be necessary in view of the outstanding importance or rarity, etc. of the material involved. The amount of any such payment envisaged must be specified in the application.
  • NB In support of its aim to make digitisation outputs openly accessible and reusable for learning and research, the Programme will not offer grants if unreasonable restrictions are placed on the use of the archives or copies thereof by the owner[s] of material or by the archives to which they are to be transferred. ‘Unreasonable restrictions’ includes any restriction contrary to the uses specified in Conditions 54-59 of the Award Conditions The onus is on the would-be applicant to make all necessary enquiries, to secure the required permissions and to disclose any issues which might prevent access and reuse of the copies before applying

To APPLY click "Further official information" below.

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Study Levels


Eligible Countries


Host Countries

United Kingdom