Connecting Collections: Unlocking Value in Heritage Samples Archives

International workshop by ICCROM

13 - 15 June 2022
Évora, Portugal | Live streaming on Zoom

This 3-day international workshop aims to raise awareness about the importance and fragility of heritage samples archives, and find practical strategies to protect and disseminate the knowledge they hold. It is organised as part of the Heritage Samples Archives Initiative (HSAI), launched by ICCROM to answer common challenges concerning their preservation, access, and sustainable use. To date, over 25 institutions from 15 countries have joined forces in this initiative.

Photo © Dresden University of Fine Arts, Germany.
Photo © Dresden University of Fine Arts, Germany.

CNR ISPC is involved as a partner of the HSAI with other important international institutions like Getty Conservation Institute (USA), Dresden Academy of Fine Arts (Germany), ERIHS, Grand Egyptian Museum (Egypt), Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (Yale University, USA), IPERION HS, National Gallery (UK); Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies (Harvard Art Museum, USA), University College London (UK), just to mention a few.

Precious heritage samples archives are often undervalued and neglected, which threatens their quality and potential impact. Raising awareness – both within custodial institutions and beyond – is critical to the samples’ long-term sustainability. The workshop aims to address the key issues threatening samples’ preservation and use, by:

  • contributing to understanding of heritage sample archives and their value when it comes to studying cultural and natural heritage;
  • communicating archival management best practices (for organizing, describing, preserving and providing access) so that heritage samples archives can serve as useable and sustainable resources for research and education;
  • enhancing the use of heritage samples archives through unlocking and connecting the data they contain to promote new research collaborations.

Over the past year, the HSAI has started developing tools to provide support for custodians of heritage samples archives. These tools include:

  • a glossary of key terms and their definitions;
  • a guide for developing a statement of significance for samples archives;
  • a guide for the archival management of samples archives;
  • a guide for developing an access policy for samples archives; and
  • an international Register of Heritage Samples Archives (coming soon on the ICCROM website!)

The workshop is an opportunity to explore and develop these tools together.

It is possible to follow the plenary session and round-table discussions in live streaming on Zoom.
Link for the streaming

Find out more

ICCROM source