EMBL Archive

Preserving and sharing the Laboratory’s heritage

Professional Networks and Activities

The EMBL Archive is committed to engaging with professional networks in archives and records management, both locally and internationally, to foster discussions on scientific archives and records, and to support and advance archival work. As a result, the EMBL Archive has been involved in various activities and initiatives since its establishment in 2015.

International Initiatives on Scientific Archives

Committee and Workshops

The archives of science document one of humankind’s greatest sagas. They comprise stories of discovery, invention, cures and exploration. As such, these archives should be captured, preserved and shared, much like our cultural and social heritage. To this end, archivists need to find ways of collaborating with scientists to best capture scientific material for future preservation without interrupting the scientific process.

Better understanding how this collaboration might work was the subject of a Workshop on Scientific Archives in November 2016, organised by EMBL. Following its success, the EMBL Archivist and archivists from four other institutions founded an international committee on the Contemporary Archives of Science and Technology (CAST) within the Section on University and Research Institution Archives of the International Council on Archives. Since then, two more workshops have taken place.

The Universal Declaration on Archives, available in English, German, and French, is posted in the EMBL Archive Reading Room. Credit: Kinga Ludowiecka/EMBL Photolab.


The OSIM and EMBL Archive, in collaboration with CERN Archive, EUROfusion Consortium, GSK’s heritage archives, and the Wellcome Sanger Institute Archive, co-organized the Symposium on Scientific Archives held online on June 27-28, 2023. Commemorating the International Archives Month and the 75th anniversary of the International Council on Archives (ICA), the symposium aimed to unite archivists and record managers dealing with scientific collections. The event provided a platform to discuss challenges, share experiences, explore opportunities, and foster a collaborative community of practice. The symposium attracted 100 registrations from 33 countries and featured 21 presenters representing the UK, Canada, US, Italy, Switzerland, Chile, Portugal, and Brazil. Explore presentations and the program details here: Symposium on Scientific Archives (27-28 June, 2023) · Indico.

Local Networking Archive Activities

The EMBL Archive is a founding member of NARN, the Notfallverbund Archive Rhein-Neckar e.V. (Emergency Network for Archives in the Rhine-Neckar Region). The mission of NARN is the protection and salvage of cultural assets in the event of a disaster impacting any member institution. The activities of the group include knowledge exchange, drills, liaising with the fire servic, purchasing insurance services and sharing salvage equipment (stored in the Heidelberg Stadtarchiv). As a registered association, NARN has statutes (Satzung des Notfallverbundes Archive Rhein-Neckar), agreed to by all the founding members in 2018.