Prince Claus Fund: Inviting applications for ‘Open Call for First Aid to Documentary Heritage under Threat’.

Funding brief: The previous calls for proposals in 2017 and 2018 drew a resounding response. Now the Prince Claus Fund, through its Cultural Emergency Response (CER) programme and the Whiting Foundation announce a third round of the Open Call for First Aid to Documentary Heritage under Threat. They invite 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 written records are sometimes the only form in which the past survives. Whether they are in monasteries, private libraries or forgotten tombs, they are objects of historical importance and deep local meaning. They are also especially fragile, susceptible to fire, insects, water and humidity – and are sometimes singled out for deliberate destruction by those afraid of their symbolic power. When there is an earthquake, a flood, or an armed attack, the heritage may be lost forever.

Through the two previous rounds of this call, the Prince Claus Fund and Whiting Foundation supported stewards around the world to prevent and minimize loss of documentary heritage by funding 26 projects. They responded to different kinds of threats, urgently safeguarding a wide variety of collections and inscriptions. In the Marshall Islands, they supported the Alele Museum to digitize and improve the storage conditions of an important archive and helped to prepare for the consequences of climate change. In Palestine, where the ancient manuscripts of the Great Omari Mosque were threatened by the ongoing conflict, staff was trained in preservation and digitization of the collection and how to carry out urgent rescue. In Ecuador, where the library collection of the monastery of Santo Domingo suffered from earthquake damage and humidity, they empowered local efforts for the emergency cleaning and preservation of the collection and the recovery of the library. And in Colombia, they funded the visual documentation and dissemination of pre-Hispanic inscriptions threatened by active mining.

They received an overwhelming number of applications from more than 70 different countries over the past two years, illustrating a pressing need for support. Nevertheless, there are still countries they have not reached during previous cycles. They therefore strongly encourage applicants from South-East Asia, Central Asia, Central Africa, South America and the Caribbean to apply. However, they consider applications from all over Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe.

This third round will continue to expand the scope of this initiative and facilitate the vital work of safeguarding physical objects and making the information they carry accessible to a wider public for generations to come. In doing so, they hope to contribute to the appreciation of cultural achievement and historical diversity and foster the worldwide dissemination of forgotten or endangered stories.

Donor Name: Prince Claus Fund
Funding name: Open Call for First Aid to Documentary Heritage under Threat

Deadline: The final deadline for applications is 31st, January, 2020 at 17:00 Amsterdam time (CET).

Funding details link: Click to view

Funding limit: Grants will average about €15,000.

Special Notes: Please contact with the donor directly for further clarification and understanding.

Project start date: Not found
Project duration: Not found

Eligible organization: As below

The project must aim to safeguard documentary heritage (i.e., cultural heritage designed to carry information in writing, such as manuscripts, books, archives, tablets, and carvings or inscriptions).
The project must respond to an emergency situation, and must be to preserve or disseminate documentary heritage threatened or recently affected by an acute, current, or impending conflict, natural disaster, or other condition that pose an acute risk. Cases of long-term neglect are not eligible.
The country where the intervention is to take place must be in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, and the applying organisation or individual must live and work in one of these regions.
The heritage involved must be significant for a specific community, whether local, regional, national, or global.
Local communities, a local organisation, and/or local authorities must be involved in the emergency response, preferably leading it, and the legal owner must support the proposed measures.
The intervention must be able to be carried out within a time frame of twelve months, corresponding to the emergency character of the collaboration.
No direct or indirect support will be provided to individuals or organisations currently subject to US sanctions.
Through its activities, the project must contribute to increasing the accessibility of the affected documentary heritage and the dissemination of the stories it holds.
The project could, among other things, fulfil one or several of the following aims:
Emergency conservation, preservation, and restoration for the urgent safeguarding and stabilization of damaged and/or threatened documentary heritage.
Emergency digitization, documentation, or scanning of damaged and/or threatened documentary heritage.
Evacuation and/or relocation of threatened collections.
(Re-) organization, cataloguing, inventorying, and documentation to enhance the accessibility of collections for researchers and other users.
The restoration and/or improvement of storage facilities, and the enhancement of safety and security conditions for the sustainable preservation of collections.
Capacity building and training activities to enhance the abilities of the caretakers of the collection and other stakeholders, for example in restoration and conservation skills, inventory methodologies, and digitization.
  Dissemination and awareness-raising activities to increase access to the documentary heritage and to bring it to the attention of the larger public, for example through educational programmes, exhibitions, or workshops for the surrounding communities. (Note: these activities can only be part of a larger project aiming at safeguarding and improving access to documentary heritage).

Projects will be evaluated by Prince Claus Fund staff and external expert reviewers. The selection criteria are:
Urgency of the need identified – the threat of imminent loss of the affected heritage must be pressing.
Soundness and sustainability of the plan for preservation and/or dissemination – the plan must be feasible, realistic, and well thought out to prevent or limit future vulnerability.
Significance of the threatened documentary heritage to local, regional, and/or world communities – the heritage must be of value to an identified group of people

This grant selection aims to ensure that projects are selected in a transparent and fair manner, according to clear criteria, and through a rigorous process giving due consideration to all proposals that meet the eligibility requirements.

Eligible Country: The Prince Claus Fund offers financial support to individuals and organisations who implement outstanding cultural initiatives, primarily in Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean & Eastern Europe.

Submission mail:

Other important link:
● Apply: Click to view
● Guideline: Click to view
About: Click to view

How to apply: Interested applicant may apply through the website (Click to view).

● To apply, please download and complete the Statement of Need form below. The form can be completed in English, French, or Spanish. Please send the form with supporting materials to all Funding opportunities: Click to view
Visit all funding categories:  Click to view

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