ENDANGERED ARCHIVES PROGRAMME
Coming in October 2004
In pursuit of their general aim to support fundamental research into
important issues in the humanities and social sciences, the Trustees of the
Lisbet Rausing Charitable Fund have decided to sponsor a Programme focusing
on the preservation and copying of important but vulnerable archives
throughout the world.
The Programme is administered by the British Library and applications will
be considered by an International Panel of historians and archivists.
The Programme will achieve its objectives principally by making a number of
grants to individual researchers to locate relevant collections, wherever
possible to arrange their transfer to a suitable local archival home, and to
deliver copies into the international research domain via the British
Library. Pilot projects may also be funded. Grants will be made each year
and will vary in amount, but a guideline maximum of GBP 50,000 for a full
project, and GBP 10,000 for a pilot project, is envisaged.
It will also make available – to overseas archivists and librarians only –
bursaries for professional attachments at the British Library to foster
better archival standards in cataloguing, preservation, etc., and thereby to
assist the process of safeguarding other such collections locally in the
The aim is to safeguard archival material relating to societies usually at
an early stage of development, i.e. its normal focus will be on the period
of a society’s history before ‚modernisation‘ or ‚industrialisation‘ had
generated institutional and record-keeping structures for the systematic
preservation of historical records, very broadly defined. The relevant time
period will therefore mostly vary according to the society with which we
The Programme will be completely open as to theme and regional interest,
although it will normally, but not invariably, be concerned with non-western
For the purposes of the Programme, archives will be interpreted widely to
embrace not only rare printed sources (books, serials, newspapers, ephemera,
etc.) and manuscripts in any language, but also visual materials (drawings,
paintings, prints, posters, photographs, etc.), audio or video recordings,
digital data, and even other objects and artefacts – but normally only where
they are found in association with a documentary archive. In all cases, the
validity of archival materials for inclusion in the Programme will be
assessed by their relevance as source materials for the pre-industrial stage
of a society’s history.
The Fund does not offer grants to support the ’normal‘ activities of an
archive, although the Programme may offer support for such items as costs
directly related to the acceptance of relocated material.
Further information about the timetable, criteria, eligibility and
procedures will be announced on the Programme’s website at
http://www.bl.uk/endangeredarchives in October.
Preliminary enquiries or expressions of interest may be addressed now to
PA to Graham Shaw
Head, Asia Pacific & Africa Collections
The British Library
96 Euston Road