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CAMEO: Conservation & Art Materials Encyclopedia Online

CAMEO is a searchable information resource developed by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The MATERIALS database contains chemical, physical, visual, and analytical information on historic and contemporary materials used in the production and conservation of artistic, architectural, archaeological, and anthropological materials.


Cotton fiber

FRIL (Fiber Reference Image Library) is a database of images of textile fibers acquired through the use of multiple microscopic techniques (brightfield, darkfield, polarized light, and differential interference contrast) to provide complementary information contributing to identification and characterization. The site is organized into categories of Plant, Animal, and Manufactured fibers with sub-categories to include images of fibers from 18th through 21st century garments. Dr. Kathryn Jakes is the senior editor for FRIL.

Also, please check out the actively growing DYE ANALYSIS section of CAMEO. This new resource is seminal to the scientific art analysis world because it provides critical analytical parameters for the analysis of synthetic and natural dyes using state-of-the-art liquid chromatographic and mass spectrometric equipment. The site is organized into categories of Natural and Synthetic Dyes with sub-categories of dyes found on cultural artifacts. Dr. Xian Zhang is the senior editor for DYE ANALYSIS.


Rachel Arenstein, Samantha Springer, and Colleen Snyder are coordinating volunteer editors to increase the number of bilateral links between CAMEO and the American Institute for Conservation WIKI ( These two resources provide complementary information since CAMEO is a technical encyclopedia of materials while the AIC WIKI provides methods and parameters for the use of these materials as related to the conservation of works of art. For examples of the information in each, please start at the CAMEO entries for Starch or Fiberboard. For additional information, contact


We are excited to announce that CAMEO has received funds to support its future growth from:

  • ANAGPIC (the Association of North American Graduate Programs in Conservation)
  • Department of Art Conservation, University of Delaware (in honor of Bruno Pouliot and Vicki Cassman)
  • Anonymous (in honor of Bruno Pouliot)

These funds will be used to establish a second parallel cloud server with the most up-to-date production versions of the MEDIAWIKI software containing numerous extensions that add more functionality. The CAMEO application will be extracted, moved, and tested on the new server, while the public accessible version of CAMEO is maintained on its existing server. Once all CAMEO information is transferred to the developmental server and vetted as operational, the public will have access to CAMEO on the most current version of MEDIAWIKI. The MFA will continue to maintain the two server system, with the initial server then becoming the developmental version. The continuity of the two servers will allow the MFA to continually improve and add to the CAMEO database without interrupting the day-to-day operation.


Please enter your search term in the box on the upper right. Press the Go button for an exact match to an English material name. Press the Search button for a full text search of the records including all non-English (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Greek, Polish, Hungarian, etc.) synonyms in the MATERIALS database.

CAMEO has recently undergone a major transformation to a wiki based platform. As is inherent in wikis, some databases and pages contained within CAMEO are 'works in progress'. Pages, data, and information will be added and updated on a continuing basis.

By using this encyclopedia, you are agreeing to the terms stated in the User agreement.

Click here to view CAMEO’s credits.

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