Scientific heritage

Aix Marseille University, like most French universities, has accumulated, over time, considerable collections. At the same time, many scientific instruments, natural science collections, colonial museum and documentary collections have been preserved in different structures. While their original function for research and teaching is still relevant, these university collections, some of which are protected as historical monuments, are also maintained for their heritage, scientific and cultural interest and for their use in the dissemination of scientific culture.

The team composed of scientific managers and technical and administrative staff from the University of Aix-Marseille aims to ensure the conservation, management and enhancement of all these collections.

The collections

The collections of historical and contemporary instruments and natural science samples from past and current research activities are extremely rich, particularly in:

  • Physics and Chemistry,
  • Astronomy,
  • Botany,
  • Geology,
  • Zoology,
  • Neuroscience,
  • Words and Language
  • and various laboratories in operation.

These collections include about 1,000,000 specimens, several hundred exceptional instruments and archives, most of which are kept in the University's Common Documentation Service.

Through their diversity, volume, scientific and heritage value, these collections today constitute an irreplaceable source of material for researchers all over the world and play a major role in the research, teaching and history of the cities of Aix and Marseille.

Data base

It is essential to inform researchers and students of the existence of study material. Inventorying our collections and putting these inventories into national and international databases is therefore essential. This is the valuation policy undertaken in recent years by integrating our inventories into several databases.

  • Natural Science Collections

Thus, the natural science collections of Aix-Marseille University are referenced in several national and international databases relating to biodiversity:

- Global Biodiversity Information Facility,
- Transtyfipal
- E-RecolNat.

  • The instrument collections

The instrument collections of Aix-Marseille University are referenced in two national databases Palissy and PATSTEC.

In addition, a photo library is being set up.

More specific information can also be consulted in a "Research Logbook" set up on AMU's scientific heritage, the objective of which is to promote and enhance the university's scientific heritage. Led by teacher-researchers and librarians, this booklet offers tickets accessible to the general public without sacrificing the scientific rigour necessary for research.

Contact information

Nicolas Claire- Deputy Vice-President Scientific Culture

Tel: +33(0)4 91 91 28 82 19 Mob: +33(0)7 63 18 18 89 91

Site : Email

documentary collections