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Launch of an international project of scientific cooperation with the National Gallery of Art (Washington)

The CRCC and the NGA are starting this year an international project of scientific collaboration which will study the formation of tidelines in paper – brown lines which form at a wet/dry interface.

Thanks to this three-year project financed by the CNRS, the two teams will intensify their collaboration on this subject, particularly by jointly overseeing the preparation of a post-doctoral research and by organizing an international colloquium in 2010.

Presentation of the project :

The formation of brown lines at a wet/dry interface (tidelines), has been described in paper since the 1930’s. Despite various research efforts, the mechanism of brown line formation is still largely unknown. A better understanding of the phenomenon is of relevance to the conservation, storage and the treatment of cultural objects made of paper. It is also important to a better understanding of cellulose degradation chemistry during ageing. The proposed research focuses on the study of the degradation of paper at the wet/dry interface. The work involves the characterisation of the cellulose polymer by SEC/MALS at CRCC, and the identification of the organic by-products formed during the degradation by LC/MS, GC/MS, micro-FTIR, ATR-FTIR at SRD-Washington and by CZE at CRCC. The presence of radical species and hydroperoxides will be investigated by HPLC at CRCC. It will be of particular relevance to study the inhibitory effect of several water-soluble antioxidants.

Popart European project

From October 1st 2008 onwards, the CRCC will manage an international research project to investigate degradation and provide practical conservation guidance for plastic items in our cultural heritage.

This work is financially supported by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme.

This international project called Popart aims to develop a European wide accepted strategy that improves preservation and maintenance of plastics objects in museum collections. It focuses on museum objects as these frequently exhibit physical degradation, created with synthetic polymers (typically cellulose nitrate, cellulose acetate, poly(vinyl chloride), polyurethane, etc.).

Based on scientific studies and experiences gathered from partners who have devoted research for many years in this field, it is proposed to evaluate and establish recommended practices and risk associated for analysing, exhibiting, cleaning, protecting these artefacts for future generations to enjoy or study.

For more informations, visit the website http://popart.mnhn.fr/

Download here the press release.

New collaboration agreement between the CRCC and the NRICH (Korea)

The CRCC and the Korean National Research Institute of Cutural Heritage (NRICH) signed a scientific cooperation agreement for the next 3 years.

Pr Bertrand Lavédrine, director of the CRCC, and Dr Bong-gon Kim, director of the NRICH,

DAEJEON, October, 1st, 2008

The CRCC is coordinating 2 new projects of the Ministry of Culture on Cultural Heritage conservation

The CRCC is coordinating 2 new research projects in the frame of the national program on cultural heritage materials conservation funding by the French Ministry of Culture and communication :

  • Setting of a methodology for the identification and quantification of mycotoxins on moldy parpers

More information in French here.

  • Preservation of specimens fluid-preserved collections: analisis and evaluation of specimen alterations, Setting up protocols with formalin substitute fixatives, and long-term perspectives

More information here.

2 new books on photography at the CRCC

The CRCC is proud to announce the release of its latest publications :

  • "Photographs of the Past : Process and Preservation" by Bertrand Lavédrine - Los Angeles, The Getty Conservation Institute.
  • "L’autochrome Lumière, secrets d’atelier et défis industriels" by Bertrand Lavédrine and Jean-Paul Gandolfo, with the contribution of Christine Capderou and Ronan Guinée - Paris, CTHS éditions.
  • "(re)Connaître et conserver les photographies anciennes - new edition" by Bertrand Lavédrine (CRCC) - Paris, CTHS éditions.

The CRCC is involved in the ICCROM course in India on the preservation of audio-visual archives

The CRCC will run the course


It will take place in New Delhi from November 17th to December 11th 2009.

This course intended for the young professionals in charge of these collections is organized by the ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) and the NRLC (National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural property), Lucknow, India.

For more information, go to ICCROM website here.

Download here the course announcement.

The CRCC has been training photograph conservation at the Middle East Photograph Preservation Institute (MEPPI) In Beyruth, Lebanon

The MEPPI brought together keepers of collections throughout the Middle East for an intensive two weeks course in preservation of photographs starting January 13th 2009.

The workshop was co-directed by Debra Hess Norris, Art Conservation Department Chair at the University of Delaware, and Nora Kennedy, Sherman Fairchild Conservator of Photographs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

The workshop was funded by the Getty Foundation with additional funding by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Photo : Nora Kennedy

Participant Institutions:

  • American University of Beirut - Lebanon
  • Arab Image Foundation
  • Bibliothèque Orientale USJ - Lebanon
  • IFPO Damascus - Syria
  • Institute for Palestine Studies - Lebanon
  • Ministry of Tourism - Lebanon
  • National Museum Beirut - Lebanon
  • The American University in Cairo - Egypt
  • Visual Culture Heritage - Egypt
  • Yarmouk University - Jordan



MYCOTA : a cultural heritage fungus contaminant database

MYCOTA is a database on cultural heritage moulds compiled by the CRCC and based upon its expertise in this field.

It is primarily intended for conservation and restoration experts.


TV report about POPART European project

In the frame of its program "Futuris", a team of the news channel Euronews made an 8-minute report about POPART and the issue of the preservation of plastic artefacts at the CRCC and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

See the report here, on the Euronews website.

Launch of the website "Autochromes Lumière"

Bertrand Lavédrine, director of the CRCC, and Jean-Paul Gandolfo, professor at the "Ecole Nationale Louis Lumière", contributed to the creation of the French website "La photographie des couleurs, Autochromes Lumière".

Runned by the French Ministry of Culture, the aim of this website is to inform about the work done since a long time on the conservation of autochromes.

You will be able to find information about the historical context of this revolutionary device, understand the technical aspects and appreciate the result through the pictures presented in this website.


Asian papers: building a technical and historical database about papers from Asia

The CRCC is getting involved into a new collaborative research focused on the study of Asian papers.


Fabrication du papier, Corée / Making paper, Korea

Papermaking, which began in China more than two millennia ago, is a typical example of the long-lasting effects human industries have had on the evolution of societies. Whereas preparation methods and historical evolution of paper in Europe and North America are thoroughly studied, Asian papers in western collections are often misidentified. Furthermore, technological research on Asian collections housed in the West is rare with the exception of some remarkable objects. These inaccuracies come from a lack of information on the manufacturing methods of the first Chinese papers, on their dissemination into neighbouring countries and on their journey through the Arab-Muslim world to Europe. Séchage du papier, Japon / Drying paper, Japan There are two basic reasons to explain this situation: the lack of research in this field by holders of primary sources (in practical terms, few historians of techniques in Asia, apart from China, Japan and Korea, are interested in this industry) and the difficult access to primary and secondary texts in European languages. This information is disseminated in obscure publications and is often redundant. The interpretation is often confused, flawed by mistranslations or erroneous technical interpretations. A database on materials used for papermaking will thus be developed: on one hand, an on-line multilingual directory on paper materials, with standardized vocabulary, current patterns of fibres and photographs showing the tools, the preparation processes while setting them back in a context of historical development. On the other hand, a simple yet rigorous laboratory protocol of paper elements identification developed in laboratory will complete this device. Conservators, curators, historians and archaeologists could benefit from this database and from the results of analysis carried out with simple laboratory equipment.

The first phase of the work will focus on two countries with long-time paper production histories: Japan and Korea. The second phase will gather information on China and its various combinations of raw materials and know-how. The third phase will concentrate on the countries of South East Asia and the Himalayas. The fourth phase will follow the trade routes to the West through the Arab-Muslim countries to North Africa.

Structure of the database The database will collect information on:

  • Terminology (scientific and common names),
  • Raw materials,
  • Production processes,
  • Tools,
  • Geographic areas of production,
  • Historical developments of materials, tools and processes

Partnership and collaborations

  • Paris 1 Panthéon- Sorbonne University (C.R.P.B.C.). Paris - France
  • Conservation department, National Museum of Ethnology. Osaka - Japan
  • Kochi Prefecture Paper Technology Center. Kochi - Japan
  • National Research Intitute for Conservation of Heritage (N.R.I.C.H.). Daejon – Korea
  • Paper science laboratory, Kook-Min University. Seoul – Korea
  • Department of wood and paper science, Chung-Buk University. Chung-Buk - Korea
  • Freer and Sackler Gallery. Washington – USA

For further information, please contact Claude Laroque.

Publications on Stradivari’s varnishes extracted from Jean-Philippe Echard’s PhD research

Article "The Nature of the Extraordinary Finish of Stradivari’s Instruments" published in the « Angewandte Chemie International Edition » (online publication 04/12/2009)

The « New York Times » and « Le Monde » have successively echoed the work of Jean-Philippe Echard, PhD student at the CRCC.

Enrolled at the PhD school of MNHN*, his thesis focuses on the characterization of the natural varnishes coating old instruments.

The studies, led as part of an international cooperation, especially allowed to reveal the true nature of the original varnishes of 5 instruments made by Antonio Stradivari in the 17th and 18th centuries. Here at the CRCC, Jean-Philippe Echard, Agnès Lattuati-Derieux et Sylvie Thao, have specified the chemical composition of Stradivari’s varnishes thanks to, among other techniques, gaz chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry.

Read the New York Times article (4/12/2009) here

Read Le Monde article (5/12/2009) here

The AFP report here

*under the direction of Pr Bertrand Lavédrine, Director of the CRCC

Initiative for the conservation of photographs at the Hermitage, Saint-Petersburg, Russia

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is funding a 4 year initiative to support the establishment of a photograph conservation department at the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

This initiative drived by the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works would represent an additional, highly significant chapter in The Mellon Foundation’s longstanding generous commitment to develop the field of photograph conservation (a field that does not exist in Russia) by providing superior educational and research opportunities as well as establishing positions.

An international advisory committee composed by Viacheslav Fedorov, Robert Burton, Franziska Frey, Bertrand Lavédrine, Paul Messier, Debbie Hess Norris, and Eric Pourchot has been formed to lead this initiative.

As a result, the Hermitage’s department of photograph conservation would be grounded in the highest international standards. A model for best practices in photograph conservation, cataloguing, and digital imaging, this department would be unique in Russia and establish the discipline of photograph conservation in the nation.

The advisory Committee
(©Robert Burton)

AXA-Art funds the CRCC for the preservation of the photographic heritage

Following AXA Art global’s successful sponsorship of the Conservation Project with the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany, Tate Gallery, UK, AXA Art can now announce its new conservation project: AXA Art is providing a grant for some groundbreaking preventive conservation research to be done at the Centre de recherche sur la conservation des collections in France.

Collections of photographs have enjoyed a continued success and growth over the past 20 years.

Unfortunately, some photographs may be very fragile. A photograph is a complex assemblage of materials; many of them are fragile and may discolour, deteriorate, weaken, break, endangering the survival of the image. Many photographic prints seem to be in good condition but many others have begun to show signs of degradation caused by internal factors. Most colour photographs are bound to fade in the dark or exposed to the light. The best approach to preserve objects that have such “inherent vices” is to store or exhibit them in an appropriate environment that will not stop the effects of time but can slow them and make them more predictable.

This two fold project aims to increase the awareness on the protection of photographs and to introduce a new tool for monitoring the lighting during exhibition in galleries, museums and houses.

The AXA Art-CRCC Photograph Project, which is running from 2010 for 2 years, focuses on the dissemination of basic care for the photographic images. At the end of the 2011, a short and succinct owners’ guide for the care of photographs, containing simple considerations that could be taken to prevent fast deterioration of photographs will be published. A tool to monitor the light exposure of photographs during exhibitions will be developed.

The project is being headed up by Professor Bertrand Lavédrine, director of the CRCC and AXA Art head quarter in Cologne.

Symposium Preserving Endangered Audio Media co-organized by the CRCC - Berlin, June 9-10th, 2011

The CRCC takes part in the International Symposium on the preservation of endangered audio media in Berlin, June 9-10th, 2011.

The workshop is open to everyone. The subject matter is of particular interest to conservators, conservation scientists, registrars, museum curators and professionals involved in handling physical audio-media.

The workshop is co-organized by the Ethnologisches Museum and the Rathgen-Forschungslabor with the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, and supported by the CRCC, the Image Permanence Institute (IPI) and the Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM).

Practical informations:

"International Symposium Preserving Endangered Audio Media - Rethinking Archival Strategies for Conservation of Analogue Audi Carrier"

Registration fee: 80€

Reduced fee: 40€

(120€ may 20th, 2011)

The costs include information materials, assistance to the sessions and coffee breaks.


Ethnologisches Museum Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Museen Dalhem Arnimalle 27, 14195 Berlin www.smb.museum

Contact: Eveline Weilert


Phone + 49 30 326719

Fax + 49 30 32674912

Deadline for abstracts February 15th, 2011

POPART project conference, 7-9 March 2012, Paris

“Preservation Of Plastic ARTefacts in museum collections”

The POPART project

POPART consortium organizes an international conference to disseminate the results of the project lead by the CRCC.

7 - 9 March 2012, PARIS, France

Venue: Auditorium Colbert, 2 rue de Vivienne, 75001 Paris, France

More info and registration here

Workshop on the wet/dry interface in paper at the CRCC in the frame of the PICS CNRS France - USA

In the framework of the CNRS International Programme of Scientific Cooperation (PICS) – France - USA, the Centre de Recherche sur la Conservation des Collections (Paris) and the National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC) announce the workshop:

Wet/dry interface in paper: research on cellulose degradation and application to the conservation treatment of cultural works on paper

Date: 27 June 2011

Location: CRCC, salle de conférences Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle 36 rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, 75005 Paris


The seminar is free of charge but we ask you to register by replying to this e-mail and giving your name and affiliation:

Surname, name:



Lunch will not be provided.

The lectures and discussions will be held in English (no translation available).

Workshop ‘Research on Asian Papers’ organized by the CRCC in the Framework of Hubert Curien Partnerships

In the framework of Hubert Curien Partnerships of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs the Centre de Recherche sur la Conservation des Collections (France), the National Museum of Ethnology (Japan), the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage (Korea) and the Fudan University (China) announce the workshop titled

‘Research on Asian Papers’

Date: Friday 21 October 2011

Location: Institut national du patrimoine (INP) Galerie Colbert

2, rue Vivienne 75002 Paris, France

Floor 3, room Champollion/Buffon

Workshop program


The seminar is free of charge but we ask you to register by e-mail to Mr Vilmont and giving your name and affiliation.

The lectures and discussions will be held in English (no translation available).

Newton medal awarded to Pr Françoise Viénot

About every two years the Colour Group awards its Newton Medal to a distinguished worker in the field of colour science.

This year, the Colour Group has awarded Françoise Viénot, Professor MNHN at the CRCC, the 2012 Newton medal in recognition of her outstanding contributions to colour and colour science

Françoise Viénot short CV

Publications list.

Website of the Colour Group

The CRCC is hosting 2 invited researchers: Tatiana Velikova (National Library of Russia) and Rudolph Gschwind (Pr. at Basel University)

The CRCC welcomes two foreign scientists:

- Tatiana Velikova, deputy director of the federal center for conservation of the National Library of Russia, for research on biodeterioration air quality in libraries storage areas, with Malalanirina Rakotonirainy. She is working in the frame of a fellowship program of the city of Paris.

- Pr Rudolph Gschwind from Basel Unversity, is collaborating with Véronique Rouchon to develop a polynomial texture mapping software for the filigrees.

Launch of the book "Preservation of plastic artefacts in museum collection" coordinated by the CRCC

POPART consortium, a FP7 program coordinated by the CRCC, has released a book presenting the results of the research done through the 4 years of POPART project.

"Preservation of plastic artefacts in museum collections"

Edited by the CTHS

Order the book here:

- at the CTHS éditions

- e-mail of the CTHS éditions

- on amazon

The CRCC host the lecture on consolidating adhesives by Rebecca Ploeger

Rebecca Ploeger, Research Fellow, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, will give a lecture about consolidating adhesives at the CRCC

Tuesday 25th September 2012 at 11 am

CRCC conference room

36 rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire

75005 Paris

Free entrance upon reservation

Language: English

More information about the subject here.

For more info and reservation, please contact Alban Fournier.

International Conference : Cultural Heritage Conservation Science & Sustainable Development - Paris, 23 - 25 October 2013

Call for papers

Cultural Heritage Conservation Science & Sustainable Development:

Experience, Research and Innovation

Cultural Heritage Conservation Science is indeed a present-day field and has undergone much development recently; furthermore, it has been developing at a very fast pace since the late 20th century. It is now imperative to take ecological, economic and social aspects into consideration when looking at the solutions that scientific research brings today. By taking these new obligations into account, one can re-evaluate a certain number of best-practices and develop new studies in the field of conservation. This research on cultural heritage is taking place under the influence of domestic and international regulation. which have also undergone profound transformation and restructuring in their own rights. Today, it constitutes a case study for an experimental scientific drawing board that will yield expertise in this area that is a crossroads amongst the humanities, material sciences, natural sciences and information sciences.

Through the use of examples and case studies, this conference will present the latest developments in conservation as well as in preservation, such as:

Environment and climat

- Environmental conditions, cost saving & impact on collections (response of collections to short-term fluctuation)

- Pollutants and microbial monitoring and mitigation

- Passive indoor climat control, lighting, etc.

Materials & conservation treatments

- Innovative materials and treatments, less toxic alternative products

- Mass treatments : cost/benefit

- New storage options, etc.

- durability and changes

Material conservation of intangible heritage

- Born digital heritage

- Digitization as strategy for preservation

- Ephemeral art issues

Cultural Heritage and communities

- Local approaches in conservation

- Study of traditional conservation practices

- Cooperation, networking and training, etc.

- Cultural heritage as a bundary object

Organised by theCentre de recherche sur la conservation des collections - CRCC

Dates : 23-25 october 2013

Venue : Paris, BNF site François-Mitterrand

Languages : English and French (simultaneous translation)

With the support of the ARSAG (Association pour la recherche scientifique sur les arts graphiques), in partnership with the LRMH.

Deadline paper proposal or poster: 31st March 2013

Deadline for registration : 15 september 2013

Registration fees: 200 euros (before 1 June); 300 euros (as of 1 June)

Students: 30 euros (before 1 June); 50 euros (as of 1 June)

(registration will open in December 2012)

For more information or paper/poster proposal, please go to the dedicated website


The CRCC, partner of a symposium on colour vision in memory of Yves Le Grand

The CRCC organized and hosted a symposium on colour vision in memory of Yves Le Grand, 18 and 19 April 2013.

More info here: http://colloque.mnhn.fr/ciesymposiumlegrand/