Digitizing Documents in India With the Endangered Archives Programme (EAP)

Posted on February 23, 2012 by

An article made available by Simon Fraser University in British Columbia provides a firsthand report by SFU alumnus Kyle Jackson about a trip he took to India as part of an Endangered Archives Programme (EAP) pilot project.

Here’s a small portion of the article:

I was in Mizoram as a part of a four-member pilot-project under the Endangered Archives Programme (EAP), a global rescue mission for the world’s most endangered historical documents. Administered by the UK’s British Library and funded by Arcadia, EAP researchers have in the past seven years fanned out across the globe, armed with little more than high-resolution digital cameras and strong stomachs.

From the crispy Sahara to soggy Amazonia, the Programme selects from a world of possibilities: twentieth-century Bengali street literature, nineteenth-century Siberian glass-plate photographic negatives, eighteenth-century Tamil palm-leaf manuscripts. Digitization projects operate literally all the way to Timbuktu.


Much digitization work remains. However, across three months our little team preserved hundreds of rare books, diaries, missionary treatises, church and government records, photographs, and personal letters, all totaling some five hundred gigabytes worth of digital images. As the only foreigner, I feel I did well culturally, too, politely eating all my bees in a total of five mega bites.

Read the Complete Report

Learn More About the Endangered Archives Programme

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