About E-RIHS

E-RIHS stands for European Research Infrastructure for Heritage Science. This organisation offers the European community of heritage researchers access to an international network made up of members who share their expertise, research facilities and data. E-RIHS also provides financial support to facilitate scientific research and interdisciplinary collaborative projects that can strengthen its infrastructure.

What is Heritage Science?
Within E-RIHS, we use the following definition of heritage science:
Heritage science is the interdisciplinary domain of the scientific study of heritage. Drawing on diverse humanities, sciences and engineering disciplines, it focuses on enhancing the understanding, care and sustainable use of heritage to enrich people’s lives, today and in the future. Heritage science is an umbrella term encompassing all forms of scientific enquiry into human works and the combined works of nature and humans that are of value to people.

International community
In order to preserve cultural heritage and make it accessible to future generations, a large number of universities, government institutions, museums and archives are working together to create an infrastructure with a clear identity. E-RIHS was created to give the international community of heritage researchers access to an infrastructure of international laboratory facilities, research data and a network of knowledge and expertise. The European E-RIHS consortium (www.E-RIHS.eu) comprises several emerging national consortia, including E-RIHS Netherlands.

As coordinator of E-RIHS.nl, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands is committed to establishing a Dutch consortium in 2024. Partners will be able to join this national network of different heritage domains to promote integration in scientific heritage research.

The aim of E-RIHS.nl is to make scientific methods, research facilities, expertise and data related to movable heritage, monuments and archaeology more accessible, both at national and European level. Better information sharing can help reduce fragmentation in the heritage field and create synergy. E-RIHS.nl is the platform that will make this possible. By collaborating with other members of the network, researchers can also be inspired to formulate research questions based on a shared vision, creating opportunities for both national and international collaborative projects.

Heritage objects
Heritage objects are material evidence of the past, which can be unlocked through innovative analytical methods and techniques. This is usually done in combination with other research methods, for instance from the fields of art, cultural and architectural history, as well as archival research and the study of oral histories.

Research tools
The focus within E-RIHS.nl is on the study of material heritage objects, with an emphasis on natural sciences, technical sciences and source research. E-RIHS.nl uses four tools to lay the foundation for knowledge development and exchange:

— FIXLAB (access to existing natural science research facilities).
— MOLAB (deployment of a mobile laboratory with a number of research facilities).
— ARCHLAB (access to archives and libraries of participating institutions).
— DIGILAB (unlocking and linking different types of research data and reference collections).

If you would like to be kept informed about the development of E-RIHS.nl or want to participate in the network’s partner meetings, please let us know via our contact page.