E-RIHS NL Research Infrastructure for Heritage Science in The Netherlands


Drs. Tatja Scholte
Smallepad 5, 3811 MG Amersfoort

With the creation of E-RIHS NL a unique, large-scale, efficient and innovative network of research facilities will be established in The Netherlands. The facilities will be freely accessible to a wide research community and professionals in three different domains of heritage: collections, archaeology and monuments. E-RIHS NL is still under construction (to be established in 2020). It aims at integrated scientific excellence and shared knowledge in the field as well as to developing advanced technologies. E-RIHS NL will encompass a range of laboratories and expertise, technology and physical and digital collections. This way, E-RISH NL will enhance multi-disciplinary and inter-institutional heritage research in an unprecedented way and give access to the highest level of research facilities for the Dutch heritage community. E-RIHS NL is closely related to the European Research Infrastructure E-RIHS (to become an ERIC in 2021), which is already part of the ESFRI Roadmap.

The infrastructure of E-RIHS NL represents scientific research into the material composition of cultural and natural heritage objects, their ageing processes and material dynamics, advanced methods for conservation treatment, in-depth understanding of production processes, as well as of the significance and art historical context of the objects, storage and accessibility of digital collections of data and information. The focus is on heritage research and data / metadata generated by analytical investigation (such as research reports, spectra, reference collections, and so on).

The following four research instruments are cornerstones of the E-RIHS network (both national and international):

FIXLAB Key fixed facilities for heritage science research – e.g. particle accelerators, neutron and laser sources and other essentially non-transportable research facilities, such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM-EDX), High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC-PDA), Mass Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS), or Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS).

MOLAB Access to a comprehensive selection of mobile analytical instrumentation for non-invasive measurements, ranging from point analysis, 2D/3D imaging, hyperspectral imaging and remote sensing, to portable RAMAN spectrometer and portable XRD analyser. The instrumentation can be used for cultural heritage objects, collections, buildings and sites, allowing in-situ investigations for complex multi-technique diagnostic projects.

ARCHLAB Access to physical (and digital) data collections that constitute valuable research resources, such as objects, technical images, samples and reference materials, analytical data and conservation documentation, as stored in museums, galleries, conservation and research institutions, including related unique expertise.

DIGILAB Providing access to large digital data collections on scientific investigation, art historical information, archaeological sites and monuments. Facilitating the storage of and access to project results carried out during E-RIHS and associated research programmes.

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