ICOHTEC was founded in Paris in 1968 when bitterness divided the nations in the Eastern and Western worlds. The intent was to provide a forum of scholars for the history of technology from both sides of the iron curtain. It was constituted as a Scientific Section within the Division of the History of Science and Technology of the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science (IUHPS/DHST). The first President was Eugeniusz Olszewski (Poland), with Vice-Presidents S. V. Schuchardine (USSR) and Melvin Kranzberg (USA). The first Secretary-General was Maurice Daumas (France), through whose initiative the French government hosted the first independent symposium at Pont-a-Mousson (1970). Symposia have been held almost every year, and the proceedings of many meetings have been published, although in a variety of forms.
Whereas national organisations have their membership bases in their respective countries, ICOHTEC has its membership base mainly in Europe, but also in the Americas, Japan, India and Australia. Research activities, in which ICOHTEC members cooperate, reflect this special interest. The issues are investigated on a comparative national basis, stressing aspects of cooperation between various nations, regions or institutions. The first statutes of ICOHTEC were approved in Paris in 1968; they were then amended in 1974, 1985, and 1993. For a complete version of the statutes click here.
The aims are as stated in article four of our statutes:
To establish close working relationships among specialists of different disciplines in order to foster international cooperation for the study and development of the history of technology;
To promote the study of appropriate historical subjects by establishing and extending the scholarly bases of the history of technology as well as by contributing to the resolution of certain contemporary national and international problems;
To facilitate research and documentation for scholars in all countries in the history of technology by exchange of information and the creation of the material means necessary for this objective.