The Foundation for the History of Technology

The Foundation for the History of Technology (SHT) seeks to develop and communicate knowledge that increases our understanding of the critical role that technology plays in the history of the modern world. Established in 1988, SHT initiates and supports scholarly research in the history of technology. This includes large-scale national and international research programs, as well as numerous individual projects, many of which are in collaboration with Eindhoven University of Technology. SHT also coordinates Tensions of Europe (TOE), an international research network of more than 250 scientists from across Europe and the United States who are studying the role of technology as an agent of change in European history.

The Foundation for the History of Technology is supported and hosted by:


Research programs

Between 1989 and 2003, SHT coordinated two large-scale national research programs that focus on the history of technology in the Netherlands in the 19th and 20th centuries. These programs resulted in two book series, several dissertations, articles, exhibitions, and educational projects.


In recent years, the focus of the research has become increasingly international. Since 1999, SHT has functioned as the secretariat of Tensions of Europe and has coordinated the network’s collaborative research and dissemination activities. The TOE network explores a broad range of themes, such as the linking and delinking of infrastructures, the emergence of transnational technical communities, and the circulation of artifacts, systems, knowledge, and people throughout Europe. 

Involving young scholars

In 2007, SHT initiated a PhD program with partners in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands to involve Central and Eastern Europe scholars in the network and the research. Three years later, the Karen Johnson Freeze Fellowship Fund was established to support the research of young scholars in these regions. Read more.


The research results are disseminated through books, articles, lectures, and virtual exhibitions. The next few years will see the publication of a new history of Europe. The six-volume book series, entitled Making Europe: Technology and Transformations, 1850-2000, is aimed at a broad scholarly community, ranging from historians, social scientists, and engineers to officials and policy makers, students, and anyone interested in European history. A series of virtual exhibits will open up the results for an even broader audience.

Contract research

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