UNESCO Launches Funding Scheme To Safeguard Documentary Heritage at Risk - Deadline 16 February 2024

18 December 2023, International

To address the imminent threats posed by environmental issues, wars and conflicts, UNESCO, through its Memory of the World Programme, is initiating a funding scheme. The Organization is allocating grants ranging from USD 15,000 to USD 70,000 for projects aiming to tackle specific challenges on the ground to safeguard vulnerable documentary heritage.

Memory institutions, including archives, libraries, museums and research centres, are invited to apply for funding to enhance the protection of documentary heritage holdings (ancient books and manuscripts, government records, audiovisual materials and digital documents) at risk of deterioration or loss. The initiative “UNESCO Memory of the World Initiative to Safeguard Documentary Heritage at Risk extends its support not only to public or private holding institutions but also to professional associations, NGOs and other established entities. 

Call for Proposals

Applications for funds can be submitted until 16 February 2024 at 23:59 CET

Project proposals must articulate a comprehensive action plan addressing three main areas of disaster management: mitigation and preparedness, response, and recovery. In line with UNESCO’s global priority groups, proposals from or beneficial to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are strongly encouraged. 

The proposed projects should focus on providing technical resources, capacity-building and trainings. Examples of activities include the development of early warning systems for the protection of collections in climate-vulnerable coastal communities and the application of artificial intelligence to enhance accessibility to documentary heritage before, during and after a crisis. 

Partner with UNESCO

The funding scheme provides potential candidates with the opportunity to forge partnerships with UNESCO in implementing safeguarding projects crucial to preserving documentary heritage. Applicants must represent an established entity or organization with a minimum of two years of proven experience in the field of documentary heritage (read the general guidelines). Detailed information, including project details, budget breakdown and a defined timeline, must be included as indicated in the project proposal form.

To participate in the Call, please ensure that you:

  1. meet the requirements for engaging in a contractual Implementation Partners Agreement with UNESCO.
  2. Download and duly complete the project proposal form.
  3. Submit the form to [email protected] no later than 16 February 2023 at 23:59 CET.

UNESCO will assess and select project proposals through the Memory of the World Programme, with technical guidance from the Preservation Sub-committee of the Memory of the World Programme’s International Advisory Committee (IAC). 

Participate in the Call for proposals

This Initiative is made possible through the generous support of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology of Japan via the Japanese Funds-In-Trust (JFIT). 

For more information on related projects, please visit the dedicated website. For inquiries, please contact [email protected].