The Endangered Languages Documentation Programme (ELDP) was founded in 2002 as part of the Hans Rausing Endangered Language Project (HRELP) with a donation of £20 million from the Arcadia Fund to SOAS University of London, UK. Arcadia renewed the grant in April 2015 with another £7.24 million for five more years. Arcadia Fund is a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. Arcadia serves humanity by preserving endangered cultural heritage and ecosystems. Because knowledge should belong to all, we also promote open access, seeking to make information available without barriers of cost or distance.
For more than a decade we have been dedicated to our mission: the preservation of endangered languages globally. Our mandate is to document and preserve endangered languages by funding scholars worldwide to conduct field work and to archive their documentary collections and make them freely available.
Since inception we have funded over 400 documentation projects around the world. In 2016, we awarded over £1 million for 28 documentary projects (see our project list or the project map an overview of our funded documentation projects). We have trained over 200 ELDP grantees through our annual ELDP training sessions. We have also trained scholars through our in-country summer schools in Ghana, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Siberia and China.
Through our training, funding and outreach work we have created a network of specialists around the world who continue to document endangered languages, educate new generations of scholars, conduct research on these languages and support us in our work. All pictures on our website are pictures taken during the fieldwork of our ELDP grantees and alumni.