SOAS University of London

SOAS marks ELDP move to new base in Berlin

2 July 2021

SOAS is marking the end of the current phase of the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme (ELDP) as the programme moves to a new base at the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften (BBAW) in Berlin, when the current period of funding from Arcadia reaches an end in December 2020.

Professor Adam Habib, Director of SOAS, noting the successful completion of this phase of the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme, said "Arcadia have been a funder of immense foresight and determination in supporting a range of projects hosted by a number of institutions, and we are pleased to have played our role with ELDP from its inception and to continue to be able to see its flourish through the new relationship with colleagues in Berlin. We look forward to working with Arcadia on this and to further collaborations in the future."

Simon Chaplin, Chief Executive of Arcadia, said: ‘We are grateful to SOAS for hosting ELDP and its associated archive for almost two decades, ensuring the survival of so many marginalised and threatened languages, and for supporting the move to its new base at BBAW. We look forward to continued collaborations and exploring other projects with SOAS in the future.’

Oliver Urquhart Irvine, Director of the SOAS Library where the ELDP has been based, said: "We are proud to have been able to provide a base at SOAS for the ELDP since 2002. As we look to the continued development of SOAS's own special collections and archives, it is right that this independent activity and archive can be sustained with this move. We will continue to work collaboratively with BBAW, its new host in Berlin."

A collaboration agreement will be signed with BBAW in relation to the ELDP and both institutions to explore collaborative projects between SOAS's specialisms and BBAW's.

SOAS has hosted the ELDP since 2002, which involves the recorded documentation of endangered languages by independent researchers and fieldworkers funded from the Arcadia grant. The programme from its new base will continue to disburse funds to independent fieldworkers for the collection of linguistic documentation - and the current range of contracts to those external fieldworkers are being sustained.

The digital material collected goes into the ELAR digital archive created by the project - and this will continue as before to be run and hosted on its own separate website and access rules remain unchanged. The ELDP and ELAR are not a part of SOAS archives or of its REF submission.

As part of the new arrangements, SOAS academics and students will be able to deposit in the ELAR archive and access for the SOAS community remains unchanged.

About Arcadia (

‘Arcadia is a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. It supports charities and scholarly institutions that preserve cultural heritage and the environment. Arcadia also supports projects that promote open access and all of its awards are granted on the condition that any materials produced are made available for free online. Since 2002, Arcadia has awarded more than $777 million to projects around the world.’