By 29th December 2022,
archivingindustry.com had welcomed
1,278,167 visitors since work began
in May 2008.
In 2000–1, a Conservation of Industrial Heritage (‘CIH’) postgraduate course was run successfully by the University of Brighton in partnership with the British Engineerium.
It had been assumed that the students would have an understanding of cataloguing techniques, but it became obvious that differing backgrounds weakened this assumption. A natural ability in some people could be counterbalanced by the inability of others to ‘see’ an object. An explanation was sought for the range of abilities, but the course finished before anything tangible could be done. However, as Course Leader, I continued research into an underlying supposition that the ways in which the cataloguing of industrial-heritage artefacts were being undertaken left much to be desired.
In 2004, therefore, believing that industrial artefacts seemed to be losing importance in academic circles, and as museums were increasingly concentrating on social history, I submitted to the University of Brighton an outline for a postgraduate degree: ‘Archiving Industry. An investigation into the classification of industries and their products, and the creation of a publicly-accessible database’.
Having spent many years investigating, analysing and cataloguing the products of industrial processes, ranging from razor blades, cutlery and edged weapons to tools, scientific equipment, firearms, railway engines and steamships, I felt that breadth of experience was potentially a great advantage.
Consequently, I hoped that the learning processes I would have followed, coupled with the resources of a university which hosted the wonderful Design Council archives, would facilitate the development of a database which could ultimately benefit everyone involved in maintaining the world’s industrial heritage.
Though the project was duly accepted, I was unable to proceed with the work at that particular time and the draft thesis evolved into the Archiving Industry website.
In 2018 I decided to concentrate on the needs of the individual collectors who — judging by site-statistics — had made by far the most visits. However, a decision was taken in 2021 to offer information in a more personal form, as elements of my work were being used by educational courses without permission or due credit. Please visit the links below for more information: