The Conservation Research Centre (CRC, UAR 3224) was created in 2012 from the merger of three pre-existing laboratories, each with a specific history and distinct professional cultures. Initially, the Centre de Recherche sur la Conservation des Collections (CRCC), based at the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle (MNHN), merged with the Laboratoire de Recherche des Monuments Historiques (LRMH), a national department of the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication (MCC). Then, in 2014, it joined forces with the Conservation Research Team of the Musée de la Musique - Philharmonie de Paris (ECR), a public industrial and commercial establishment under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Communication (MCC).
The three laboratories are located at three sites in the Île-de-France region, geographically distant from each other:
- the CRCC, the Centre de Recherche sur la Conservation des Collections at the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle (Paris 5e),
- LRMH, the scientific team at the Laboratoire de Recherche des Monuments Historiques in Champs-sur-Marne (77),
- the ECR, the Conservation Research Team of the Musée de la Musique at the Cité de la Musique (Paris 19th).
The CRC is made up of around fifty scientists including chemists, physicists, biologists, art historians and historians of science and technology, spread over three geographical sites. Their work focuses on objects in museums, archives and libraries, as well as historic monuments, and is aimed in particular at understanding heritage materials and studying how they deteriorate, as well as developing preventive and curative conservation methods.
In addition to their own fields of activity, these three teams are making the most of their complementary strengths and working to establish common approaches to :
- instrumentation and analytical methodology,
This new dynamic has led to concerted action and participation in various regional and European projects.
At regional level, the unit has been a member of the Major Interest Domain (DIM) Ancient and Heritage Materials (MAP) and now of the DIM Material Heritage: Innovation, Experimentation, Resilience (PAMIR). The unit is also a member of the Fondation des sciences du patrimoine (FSP), which follows on from the LabEx Patrima. At European level, the unit is a member of the E-RIHS-France (European Research Infrastructure for Heritage Science) prefiguration structure with a view to creating a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). This ERIC project follows a long list of European projects, including Iperion-CH and Iperion-HS, to which the ArchLab, MoLab and FixLab parts of the unit contribute.