Europa Nostra welcomes Swedish Industrial Heritage Association

The Swedish Industrial Heritage Association became a Member Organisation of Europa Nostra in July 2014. Listing the historic industrial sites in Sweden, awarding the best projects and initiatives in this field at the national level and campaigning to save the most endangered industrial heritage sites in the country are the principal activities of this Stockholm-based non-profit association. Founded in 1989, its network is today composed of around 75 institutional and individual members, namely industrial heritage professionals, research and education bodies, governmental agencies, museums, archives, and independent players.

The Iron Works of Olofsfors, winner of the 2014 Industrial Heritage Site of Year Award. Photo: Jan af Geijerstam.

The Iron Works of Olofsfors, winner of the 2014 Industrial Heritage Site of Year Award. Photo: Jan af Geijerstam.

The Association has upheld a long tradition of mapping and preserving industrial heritage in Sweden. This tradition dates back to the 1920s, when many preindustrial sites, especially in the iron and steel industries, were abandoned in the wake of industrialisation, which gained momentum in the early 1970s.

The Association has played an important role in researching, documenting, interpreting and listing industrial heritage sites throughout the country. Its online database contains more than 400 historic industrial sites and the number continues to grow. Since 1995, the Association has recognised the most remarkable industrial heritage achievements in Sweden through the Industrial Heritage Site of the Year Award. The aim of the award is to highlight long-lasting and innovative efforts to preserve and enhance plants or environments which tell the story of industrial society, production and technology. The Association has raised awareness about the most threatened historic industrial sites in the country and mobilised public and private efforts towards saving them.

The Association has set three top priorities. The first task is to renovate and expand its website, the main tool for interactions between all those who actively work on industrial heritage and for recruiting new members. The website will be translated into English in due time in order to become a global portal to the rich industrial heritage of Sweden. The second task is to represent Sweden on the international arena. The Swedish Industrial Heritage Association represents the International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH) in Sweden. The third task is to deepen collaboration on industrial heritage in Scandinavia, with a focus on the peer reviewed journal Fabrik&Bolig – The Industrial Heritage of the Nordic Countries.

In 2015 the Association will put special emphasis on organising the second of a series of two conferences on industrial heritage, this time on ‘Landscapes of Industry – Economy, Environment and Sustainability’.

“We are impressed by the work that Europa Nostra has carried out in the industrial heritage field. We think that it is of vital importance to create alliances and establish networks with all organisations working in this field, in particular with Europa Nostra, TICCIH and ICOMOS,” stated Jan af Geijerstam, President of the Swedish Industrial Heritage Association.

Since its establishment, the Association has cooperated with the National Museum of Science and Technology of Sweden, which has the responsibility to preserve the country’s technical and industrial history. The collaboration has resulted in a traveling exhibition, communication campaigns and conferences. The museum is an adjunct member of the Board of the Association.

In Sweden, Europa Nostra has 24 member and associate organisations. Europa Nostra wants to strongly engage and further enlarge its network of members, associates, benefactors, partners and supports in Sweden and all over Europe. Together we can save and promote our shared cultural heritage. JOIN US

Mr. Jan af Geijerstam
President of Swedish Industrial Heritage Association (SIM)
+46 705662153

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