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Open Call: First aid to documentary heritage under threat

The Prince Claus Fund, through its Cultural Emergency Response programme (CER), and the Whiting Foundation announce a new call for proposals for projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean to safeguard documentary heritage that is acutely threatened by recent conflict or other disaster, whether natural or man-made.

Manuscripts, rare books, archives, tablets, inscriptions, and other kinds of documentary heritage are living records of the ideas of bygone eras, sometimes the only form in which the past survives. Whether they are housed in libraries or held by families who have passed them down from generation to generation, they are cherished by the people who watch over them as objects of historical importance and deep local meaning. They are also especially fragile vessels, susceptible to fire, insects, and humidity – and sometimes singled out for deliberate destruction by those afraid of their power to express viewpoints and cultivate nuance.

When disaster strikes – an earthquake, a flood, or an armed attack – the threat to these cultural objects is heightened; when it is overlooked or local resources for rescue are lacking, the heritage may be lost forever. CER has a history of helping to prevent or minimize such loss, for example by providing swift funding in Timbuktu, Mali to begin the evacuation, digitisation, and inventorying of hundreds of thousands of ancient manuscripts to save them from the hands of militants; in Nepal to salvage the Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya archives – one of the largest repositories of Nepali-language materials in the world – after severe earthquake damage; and in war-torn Syria for the removal to safety of the Knooz archive of 19th and 20th century journalism.

This new funding collaboration aims to continue this work, helping preserve writing for a new generation, contribute to the appreciation of cultural achievement, diversity, and history, and support the dissemination of forgotten or endangered stories worldwide.

For details on Eligibility, Selection Criteria, and how to apply, please click here.

If your archive is not in acute danger and therefore will not be considered for the Prince Claus Fund’s CER programme, the British Library’s 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. The next call for preliminary applications will be in September. For more information, please visit their website.

Open Call: First aid to documentary heritage under threat

"Open Call: First aid to documentary heritage under threat"

The Whiting Foundation

The Whiting Foundation

The Whiting Foundation supports literature and the humanities. We believe that it is imperative that the collective treasures of history and memory be passed on to the future with as little loss as we can manage. Recognizing that irreplaceable cultural heritage is being destroyed at an alarming rate around the globe, we are committed to supporting the urgent fight to save the fruits of human civilization.

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Open Call: First aid to documentary heritage under threat

 
 
 
 

Open Call: First aid to documentary heritage under threat

The Prince Claus Fund, through its Cultural Emergency Response programme (CER), and the Whiting Foundation announce a new call for proposals for projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean to safeguard documentary heritage that is acutely threatened by recent conflict or other disaster, whether natural or man-made. Manuscripts, rare books, archives, tablets, inscriptions, and other...