Technology and the Making of Europe

Foundation for the History of Technology

The Foundation for the History of Technology (SHT) aims to develop and communicate knowledge that increases our understanding of the critical role of technology in the history of the Western world. Since its establishment in 1988 the foundation has been supporting scholarly research in the history of technology. This has included large-scale national and international research programs and numerous individual projects, many in collaboration with Eindhoven University of Technology. The SHT also coordinates the international research network Tensions of Europe (TOE).

Research Programmes

SHT has initiated and coordinated two large-scale national research programmes focusing on the history of technology in The Netherlands in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This resulted in two book series, several dissertations, articles, exhibitions, and educational projects. In recent years, the scope of the research has become increasingly international. SHT functions as TOE secretary’s office and coordinates the collaborative research and dissemination activities. TOE is an international scientific network consisting of almost 300 scientists from all over Europe and the United States. Since the start in 1999, the network explored a broad range of themes, focusing on the linking and delinking of infrastructures, the emergence of transnational technical communities and the circulation of artifacts, systems, knowledge and people. By organizing inspiring conferences and summer schools, stimulating international research collaboration and disseminating research results to various audiences TOE wants to reveal the role of technology as an agent of change in European history.

Involving Young Scholars

A PhD program with partners in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands was initiated by SHT to involve Central and Eastern Europe in the network and the research. In 2010 the Karen Johnson Freeze Fellowship Fund was established to further stimulate the work of young scholars in these regions.


The research results are communicated in various ways: through books articles, lectures, exhibitions and new media. The Technology and European History Series invites (young) scholars to publish their work. On top of that, the coming years will witness the publication of a new history of Europe. The six-volume book series Making Europe: Technology and Transformations, 1850-2000 aims at a broad scholarly community, ranging from historians, to social scientists, and engineers, officials and policy makers, students, and those who are simply fascinated by European history. A series of virtual exhibits will open up the results for an even broader audience.

Other Activities

SHT also facilitates national projects often commissioned by individual companies or organizations. Central themes are research and development, the history of information technology, transport history and public works.

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