ARCHLAB the archives of European Museums and Cultural Heritage Institutions

Calling for applications from researcher teams working in Europe or in Associated Countries to visit one or more of the open Museums and Research Institutions, possessing wide archives on analytical and technical data on paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, metals, etc.

The ARCHLAB Transnational Access program is offered by six participating organization (providers);  Palais du Louvre Paris, The National Gallery London, Instituut Collectie Nederland Amsterdam, Opificio delle Pietre Dure Firenze, Museo Nacional del Prado Madrid and The British Museum London. The data and scientific records consist of documentation on the examination of constituent materials, technology, state of conservation, stratigraphy, etc. for each investigated object, including technical and scientific results, as well as images.

Collections of samples are also available, taken from artworks and monuments during previous campaigns of study and conservation, and carefully archived after laboratory investigations. An integral component of access to the archives will be the possibility to benefit from the knowledge of experts in the specific field for which access has been requested, who will collaborate in guiding the consultation and in the interpretation of data. Access to this data will open the way for deeper more wide-ranging studies than are currently possible, giving new perspectives for high-quality research both in the study and in the conservation of artefacts.


To be granted the access, an application by the Group Leader is required, describing the scientific background of proposed project, the planned measurements and their objectives, the expected results, as well as the justification of the need of the specific provider access highlighting the European impact.

Please note that a User Group is a research team composed by one or more researchers requesting access to for the same project. A Group Leader leads each User Group. Concerning the EC and CHARISMA general rules see the ACCESS AREA for further information. To better finalize the proposal, the submission procedure could encompass:

  • An abstract of the planned project preliminarily sent by e-mail to access provider with whom to collaborate (specific contact and address at Open call above) to obtain related facility information (detailed open archives, feasibility of the project, effective data, the disposable time, internal provider rules and IPR issues, etc.), waiting the prescreening response.
  • A final proposal using a downloaded APPLICATION FORM (word doc.), sent to ARCHLAB Welcome Desk at the Program Leader premises CNRS C2RMF Laboratoire du Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France Palais du Louvre

Priority will be given

  • to projects promoting scientific advancement,
  • to project that have a woman Group Leader and/or where the majority of the group members are women,
  • to proposals technically feasible for the available host facilities and data,
  • to researches that are developing innovative projects with focused goals,
  • to Users/groups have not previously used the resources,
  • to Users/groups working in countries where no such facilities exist.

Available facility: Data & scientific records

The access offered by the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage regards information stored in documentation files of the library in Amsterdam. Information concerns typical objects and materials which were previously investigated at ICN, as paintings, textiles, furniture, metals, glass, ceramics, leather, plastics, pigments, binding media, varnish, resin, paper, books, inks, etc., all referred to periods varying from pre-history to date.

Typical information consists of historical documentation, analytical data, images, and reports on samples (including cross-sections). The information is partly registered in Dutch, partly in English, partly in German. An online is available at

However, Users can have a physical access also to a large collection more than 8500 reference materials including all of the typical materials of cultural heritage mentioned above. This reference collection is not available on-line and its consultation requires the presence at ICN. During their visits, the Users can ask additional specific access to instrumentation and related expertise, if necessary to compare immediately the properties of their samples with those of the reference materials stored in the collection. Instrumentation offered is optical microscopy, SEM-EDX, XRF, XRD, FTIR, RAMAN, HPLC-PDA, LC-MS and GC-MS.


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