The Franses Archive and Library in London is the world’s largest academic resource on European tapestries, figurative textiles, and carpets.  Established in 1987, the first archivist was Tom Campbell who, in 1994, left to join the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a curator. Dr Campbell has since been appointed as Director of the Museum.

Over 200,000 visual records comprise the Archive, and all have been meticulously cross-referenced by subject, date, and origin. These records have been collected and catalogued from several hundred museums, libraries, trade and private collections, and allows precise identification of individual works (as well as visual reconstruction of dispersed sets of tapestries).  The Archive is a non-profit resource.



Lost, missing or stolen pieces have been identified through the Archive –  in 1993 discovering two Gobelins tapestries stolen from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York, and a Brussels tapestry stolen from North Mymms Park, England.

The Archive also specialises in research projects.  A joint survey with the National Trust of the tapestries in their 200 properties was carried out.  We are currently providing assistance during the cataloguing of the collection by National Trust tapestry curator, Helen Wyld.

A project with Glasgow City Art Galleries required assistance assembling documentation from the Archive on Sir William Burrell’s collection of medieval tapestries.  The Burrell Collection has recently appointed two international tapestry scholars to catalogue this superb collection.

The Archive assisted with a loan exhibition of Medieval and Renaissance tapestry, which was held from 17th September – 14th December 2014 at The Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, Vilnius.

A website exclusively devoted to the work of the Archive can be viewed at the Franses Tapestry Archive