Arches: Free Libre Cultural Heritage Management System

Arches: Free Libre Cultural Heritage Management System

Arches is an open-source solution for managing cultural heritage. Its developers aim to provide an easy-to-use platform for the organization to manage its resources, teams, activities, and investigation. It's a purpose-built system for historians and cultural guardians which serve to maintain the cultural heritage.

The project is built on international standards which makes it essential for multi-national teams as it also supports multiple languages like English, Arabic, French, Spanish, Greek, Chinese, and many others.

Arches implementation at: HMS   Florida Public Archaeology Network
Arches implementation at: HMS Florida Public Archaeology Network 

Arches offers a self-hosted platform which allows multi-users from multiple devices to access the use of the platform. It supports all modern browsers.


  • Easy-to-use
  • Integrated map and search pages with advanced search
  • Time wheel with time-line display management
  • Modular architecture
  • Inventory and assets management
  • Investigation planning and management
  • Activity management
  • Research management
  • Team and user management ┬ámanagement
  • Terminology manager
  • Media manager that supports many media types and formats (Videos, Images, Documents, 3D models)
  • Survey manager
  • Historical events management
  • Modular architecture

Arches comes with comprehensive documentation for users, system managers and developers. It includes detailed instructions for implementation, modules development and community resources.

Arches Collector: Mobile app assistant

Arches Collector is a mobile application for Arches users that comes with offline support. Arches Collector features field survey, data collection, image and media uploads, data synchronization and access to several features for the hosted version.

The application is available for iOS at Apple AppStore and Android at Google PlayStore.


Arches uses several open-source technologies beneath the surface. It's developed using Python and uses a Django-like system for installation and management which comes handy for Python and Django developers, here are some of the open-source packages it uses:

  • PostGIS
  • ExtJS
  • OpenLayers
  • ElasticSearch

Who uses Arches?

There are many life and active implementation for Arches around the world, by universities, gov organizations, NGOs, researchers, and activists.


The project is released and distributed under the GNU Affero General Public License, version 3.


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Hamza Mu

Written by Hamza Mu

A physician with programming skills, Linux user since late 1990s, Open-source supporter. Created several medical products EMR/ DICOM and more.
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