Alsace Conservation and Study Centre (Sélestat)
Inaugurated on 15 October 2016, the CEC of Alsace, supported by the State - Ministry of Culture, the Grand Est region and the departments of Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin, aims to pool resources, skills and financial resources to ensure better coherence in conservation and dissemination policies for regional archaeological collections.
Located in Sélestat (Bas-Rhin), the Alsace Conservation and Study Centre is jointly managed by Archéologie Alsace and the Regional Archaeological Service of the Grand Est Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs.
A national strategy of the Ministry of Culture
Conservation and Study Centres (CCE) are designed to meet the needs of archaeologists and museums by pooling resources and skills in terms of preventive conservation, accessibility, scientific exploitation of collections and data from excavations, and media coverage of the general public. The Ministry of Culture implemented this policy in 2008.
To meet the challenges and requirements posed by the conservation of archaeological furniture in Alsace, the DRAC Grand Est, through its regional archaeology service, launched the project in 2009.
The opportunity for this type of infrastructure to be deployed in Alsace is primarily the result of a territorial diagnosis which has led to the need to develop a regional plan integrating the 46 regional museums with an archaeological vocation.
The project has three main objectives:
- Improve collection conservation and management;
- Facilitate their study and exploitation;
- Federate and stimulate actors in the region;
The CEC of Alsace, head of this network, is placed in support and accompaniment to the action of these museums.
The Alsace Conservation and Study Centre is part of the collection management policy initiated by the Ministry of Culture, with the strong commitment of the departments of Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin.
The architectural project, designed by the firm W-Architectures (Voinchet and associated architects) develops over an area of 4,245 m2, of which 2,800 m2 are dedicated to the CEC and 1,940 m2 to the conservation of collections.
Vocation of the Alsace CEC
The Centre de Conservation et d'Etude d'Alsace aims at the conservation of archives and archaeological furniture of all kinds and their enhancement by making them available to researchers of all nationalities and museum staff.
This leading tool also aims to support the network of 46 regional museums that preserve archaeological collections.
The DRAC Grand East and Alsace archaeology maintain many links with this network through deposit agreements, loans for exhibitions and devolution of movables.
This policy promotes the communication of the elements of material culture and the resulting knowledge to the general public.
Organization of the CEC of Alsace
Five types of deposits can accommodate furniture according to its nature (lapidary, ceramics, lithic, metal, bone, wood, leather) and guarantee its perennial conservation in a suitable environment.
Des study rooms are intended to receive all research stakeholders in order to deepen the analysis of these collections and thus advance knowledge to better share them.
One documentation centre, as well as digital archives accessible via the Pléiade database, complete the scheme.
Cards detailing the operation of this equipment are available at the reception or on request to the center management.
The richness of the Alsatian archaeological heritage legitimized the creation of this centre, but it also required anticipating the conservation needs for the next fifteen years: by designing sufficiently large storage spaces, and the creation of a land reserve in the event of a future extension of the building.
An exemplary partnership between the State and the communities
The support of the State, Ministry of Culture (2/3), the departments of Haut-Rhin and Bas-Rhin (1/3 each) and a contribution from the Grand Est Region has enabled a budget of 10.5 million euros needed to realize this new equipment dedicated to archaeology, which houses the Centre for Conservation and Study, as well as the Alsace Archaeology Office.
The collections project
The reception of old collections, accumulated over several decades, required the implementation of an important "collections" project, funded to the tune of 400,000 euros by the State, organized by Alsace Archaeology and the DRAC. It was thus possible to take back old collections to comply with the inventory and packaging criteria defined in the future CEC.
More than 200 m3 of collections were treated, objects and remains of prehistory in the contemporary era discovered throughout the region.
Alsace Conservation and Study Centre (CCE)
11 rue Champollion - 67600 Sélestat
Telephone: 03 90 58 55 34 - Fax: 03 90 58 55 35
The CCE is open, by appointment, from Monday to Friday from 8.30 to 12.00 and from 13.00 to 17.00.
The 1% artistic, a procedure whereby one per cent of the construction budget, extension or rehabilitation of the building, is devoted to the commission or purchase of one or more original works of art, designed by living artists to fit into the architectural project.
For the CEC of Alsace, it was entrusted to the agency V8 designers|Pierre Bindreiff & Sébastien Geissert in association with graphic designer Erwan Chouzenoux (Atelier Poste 4), who signed the building’s signage.