Documenting Global Voices

Collection of posters for protests in support of human rights

The UCLA Library has received a grant of $5.5 million from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, to launch Documenting Global Voices. This exciting new initiative will preserve at-risk cultural heritage from around the world and make it widely available online as well as on campus.

Documenting Global Voices enables the Library to award grants to archives and cultural heritage organizations in regions with limited capacity for preservation and where archival materials may be at risk due to factors such as political instability and the materials’ age and condition. International grantees will have access to funding for equipment as well as a specially developed toolkit and instruction showing how to digitally preserve materials and make them discoverable to worldwide audiences through a UCLA Library-hosted website.

“Arcadia’s visionary gift for Documenting Global Voices enables the Library to directly support UCLA’s mission to create, disseminate, preserve, and apply knowledge for the betterment of our global society,” said Ginny Steel, Norman and Armena Powell University Librarian. “We are deeply grateful for Arcadia’s support in preserving cultural heritage that otherwise would be lost and making it freely available to students, scholars, and the public.”

UCLA Library archivists and digital librarians honed their expertise working directly with partners in Cuba, Armenia, Iraq, South Africa, and other countries through the Library’s International Digital Ephemera Project (IDEP), also funded by Arcadia.

“El proyecto de digitalización del periódico La Lucha nos ha permitido salvar esa valiosa publicación, con peligro de perderse para las generaciones futuras, y la oportunidad de ponerla al servicio de los investigadores y estudiosos cubanos y extranjeros [The La Lucha newspaper digitization project has enabled us to preserve this valuable publication, which was in danger of loss, for future generations and has also enabled us to make the newspaper available to both Cuban and foreign researchers],” said IDEP partner René González Barrios, president of the Instituto de Historia de Cuba [Institute of Cuban History].

Building on IDEP’s success, Documenting Global Voices will save even more at-risk materials, including audiovisual and born-digital content of the modern era. This new initiative will complement the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme, also funded by Arcadia, which provides grants to preserve materials from the pre-industrial era.

Arcadia has a history of support for education and research at the UCLA Library. Major gifts have funded open access publishing, digitization of palimpsests and manuscripts held by St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai, and the Center for Primary Research and Training in Special Collections.


To see collections and materials preserved through IDEP, please visit