Kind regards from the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development in Amsterdam. 

I am working as a trainee at the research department of the Fund, currently in the process of disseminating a new Call for proposals regarding manuscripts, rare books, archives, tablets, inscriptions, and other kinds of documentary heritage, which are under immediate threat due to conflict or natural disaster. The Prince Claus Fund, through its Cultural Emergency Response (CER) programme, and the Whiting Foundation, have joined forces to offer assistance in such situations for projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

In order to disseminate our call, I am writing directly to people who work in the relevant field and seem to have a keen interest and knowledge of the subject, as well as an international network. Your organization came up as a relevant one in my search for contacts.

My question is: Are you aware of situations of emergency where documentary heritage is under immediate risk of loss of destruction, due to recent disasters or conflicts? Or, do you have suggestions for people/organisations in your network that we could make aware of this opportunity?

CER provides ‘first aid’ to cultural heritage damaged or destroyed by man-made or natural disasters, it also works as an ‘ambulance’ in cases of urgent need. CER believes that rescuing cultural heritage provides hope and consolation to affected communities and thereby contributes to restoring human dignity, continuity and a sense of identity. Culture is a basic need and cultural emergency relief should therefore be an integral part of humanitarian aid. By providing immediate financial support, CER aims to stabilize the situation, prevent further damage and implement basic repairs. Relying on its international network for the identification of cultural emergencies, CER seeks to implement its cultural emergency relief actions in direct cooperation with local partners in the affected communities. For further information on CER, please visit our website: http://www.princeclausfund.org/en/programmes/cultural-emergency-response

Ilaria Manzini

Trainee Research, Monitoring and Evaluation