Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg; Institute for Industrial Archaeology and History of Science and Technology (Germany)
The Technical University Freiberg was founded in 1765 as one of the first mining academy in Germany and is nowadays known as a university of resources. The Institute for Industrial Archaeology, History of Science and Technology (IWTG) is specialized in the fields of Industrial Archaeology and History of Technology as well as in the fields of History of Science, History of Economics, History of Environment and History of Innovation. Unique in Germany is the interdisciplinary course in Industrial Archaeology.
Industrial archaeology is a field of study concerned with investigating, surveying, recording and preserving of industrial monuments. It aims, moreover, at assessing the significance of these monuments in the context of social, technological and cultural history. Industrial monuments in this context are any relic of an obsolete phase of an industry or any infrastructure system connected to industry, ranging from a Neolithic flint mine to newly obsolete aircraft or electronic computer. Industrial archaeology with its study of the physical remains of industrial activity helps to understand the development of technology, industry and the industrial culture in history and gives the guidelines and framework for preserving and reusing the technical and industrial monuments. Because of its special topic (historical technology and buildings), its historical frame (history of technology and industry) and its heritage context industrial archaeology is a interdisciplinary field of study, using questions and methods of several disciplines like historical and cultural sciences, natural sciences and engineering, architecture, economics or law. In cooperation with several universities, companies and agencies this course offers a study program for the field of industrial heritage and industrial museums as well as for public relations in companies, for science journalism and for consulting in architecture and engineering.
The IWTG has engaged in a number of cross-border projects in the last years, especially regarding the world heritage initiative Mining Region Erzgebirge. Since July 2010, the INTERREG-IVA project „Mitteleuropäische Kulturlandschaft Montanregion Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří - Weg zum UNESCO-Welterbe" is running. The UNESCO World Heritage Project acts as a good practice example for the mamagement of old-industrial regions and regional image campaigns. The IWTG provides jointly with PP5 scientific support in SHIFT-X and collects/reflects good practice examples on industrial heritage management.