INetwork's integration year: 2021
NDigitalization plateform STCN
ChromoBase is an ambitious project that promotes the chromatic heritage of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (Cnam). It aims to create a database related to the chromatic revolution of 1850-1860, which combines textual analyses, artistic practices, and scientific data, derived from the 3D scanning of archival ‘colour’ fonds of the Cnam Library and the Musée des arts et métiers. These documents will be analysed and entered on the ChromoBase for the general public to consult as an open archive in 2023.
The Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers has played a major role in colour industrialisation processes since the creation in 1852 of Europe’s first chair dedicated to dye chemistry in the textile industry. The Cnam thus became the depositary of numerous books, specialised journals, and objects related to the teaching of dye chemistry, to dye practices, and to the dye industry. One of the specificities of this heritage collection is that it associates texts and ‘colour objects,’ that is, it places explanations of dye chemistry and/or of dyer recipes in relation with textile samples or wool, silk, or cotton tangles. As hybrid objects, such books of textile samples raise the question of the transmission of dye practices knowledge and practices in 19th century Europe.