Heritage Samples Archives Initiative (HSAI)



Type of funding received:

ICCROM Regular Budget and external contributions from partners for specific activities.

a short summary of the project

Many cultural heritage institutions around the world hold heritage sample archives, often collected in the course of research activities. These materials pose very particular challenges concerning their archival management, physical preservation, and accessibility. While sample archives are valuable resources with a huge potential for future research and didactic purposes, they are often little-known and under-recognized. As a result, they are often critically threatened.

In recognition of the shared challenges faced by numerous institutions among its member states, ICCROM initiated the Heritage Samples Archives Initiative (HSAI) in 2021, building upon its experience with the Mora Sample collection. The primary aim of HSAI is to enhance the recognition, management, preservation, accessibility, and utilization of heritage sample archives.

The activities carried out by the HSAI to date are as follows:

Survey of Samples Archives 2020

Poster Session and roundtable webinar on heritage samples archives, 29 and 30 November 2021.

International Workshop on Connecting Heritage Samples Archives, Évora, Portugal, 13-15 June 2022.

project objectives

  • Raise awareness of the value and importance of sample archives.
  • Develop best practices, policies, procedures, tools, and methodologies (e.g., through guidance documents and case study examples) for the effective management of sample archives.
  • Create a roadmap for enhancing the accessibility and use of samples archives, connecting them through open digital platforms (e.g., developing a Register of Samples Archives).
More info on this project

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