Beginning in the early 1990s with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), ARCE engaged in vital conservation work at monuments and sites throughout Egypt, leading to a unique collection of material documenting conservation projects that constitute the ARCE Conservation Archives. In total, the Conservation Archives includes 79 collections, each documenting a different project conducted in Egypt.
The Conservation Archives covers a wide range of Egyptian history spanning over 7,000 years. Geographically and historically diverse, the projects include Pharaonic, Coptic, Islamic, and other Egyptian cultural heritage sites of significance. Some examples include Theban tombs TT50, TT69, and TT110, the Roman Wall Paintings at Luxor Temple, The Red Monastery, and the Bab Zuwayla monument in Historic Cairo. Project work includes conservation and archaeological field training, structural preservation, wall paintings conservation, and historical and archaeological documentation.
Each collection contains photographic and written material including 35mm and 120mm color and black & white slides, born-digital images, technical reports, and various grant-related documentation, in addition to a select number of project artifacts and architectural drawings. There are around 70,000 photographic slides, 200,000 images, 1,200 documents, 1,000 drawings, as well as a small selection of artifacts and multimedia content.
In 2015, ARCE began a partnership with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to digitize, describe, and publish content from the Conservation Archives. During the first phase of this partnership, ARCE and UCLA worked together to publish two archival collections in UCLA’s International Digital Ephemera Project (IDEP): the Luxor Roman Wall Paintings and the Tomb of Anen collections. In 2019, ARCE was awarded an National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Foundations Grant for Humanities Collections and Reference Resources to publish an additional three collections and build a new ARCE web portal to showcase these collections.