Association for Industrial Archaeology

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The Association for Industrial Archaeology (AIA) was established in 1973 to promote the study of industrial archaeology and to encourage improved standards of recording, research, conservation and publication. It aims to support individuals and groups involved in those objectives and to represent the interests of industrial archaeology at a national level. It is a non-profit making registered charity (No. 277511) and a company limited by guarantee, its registered office is care of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust.


The association is currently chaired by Mark Sissons, from September 2014, Keith Falconer OBE. The president is Professor Marilyn Palmer, MA (Oxon), Ph.D. Leicester, FSA, Professor Emeritus of Industrial Archaeology, University of Leicester (University of Leicester, January 2014). Overall administration is carried out by an elected Council of Management, whilst day-to-day operations are overseen by the officers of the association.


Through its council it has contacts with both traditional archaeology and with those statutory organisations responsible for recording, preserving and funding Britain's historic monuments. The council also has contacts with the International Committee for the Conservation Of Industrial Heritage (TICCIH) and, at the European level, the European Federation of Associations of Industrial and Technical Heritage (E-faith).

Since its foundation the association has gathered at an annual conference held at various locations throughout the UK and Ireland. The 2013 conference was held in Dundee, Scotland with the 2014 conference planned for Chester, England in September. Brighton, England is the venue for 2015. Each conference occupies a weekend but is followed by several days of visits and lectures. Additionally, the association organizes a spring weekend conference open to both members and non-members.

One important function of the association is to represent the interests of industrial archaeology in the planning process. The AIA is not a Statutory Consultee itself and the association's role in the process is carried out by its Endangered Sites Officer via the Council for British Archaeology (CBA).

Thanks to a series of generous donations the AIA has been able over the last five years to make available Restoration Grants for a number of worthwhile projects. To date seventeen grants have been made, examples of which are:

  • Mellor Archaeological Trust for the restoration of the Wellington wheel pit;
  • The Waterways Trust for the restoration of Box Boat 337;
  • The South Yorkshire Trades Historical Trust for their work on Hoylandswaine Nail Forge.

The grants are for up to £20,000 and are only for capital projects and not on-going running costs. Applicants must be non-profit organisations, trusts, charities etc. and not businesses or individuals. Full details can be found on the association's web-site, see link below.

The AIA also provides an opportunity for taking part in escorted overseas visits that explore engineering history and industrial archaeology. These visits are organized for the association by Heritage of Industry and details of current and pending visits are to be found on the association's web-site.


Industrial Archaeology Review, a bi-annual peer-reviewed journal, is sent to all members whilst a quarterly newsletter, the Industrial Archaeology News, contains shorter articles, reviews and a calendar of events. Additional occasional publications include regional gazetteers for areas where annual conferences take place.


The association has some 520 individual members and approximately 50 local societies and organisations affiliated to it.

The following organisations are or have been corporate members of the AIA:

External links[edit]