The mission of the Society for Industrial Archeology (SIA) is to encourage the study, interpretation, and preservation of historically significant industrial sites, structures, artifacts, and technology. By providing a forum for the discussion and exchange of information, the Society advances an awareness and appreciation of the value of preserving our industrial heritage.
The Society for Industrial Archeology was formed in 1971 to promote the study, appreciation, and preservation of the physical survivals of our industrial and technological past. The word “archeology” underscores the society’s principal concern with the physical evidence of industry and technology-the study, interpretation, and preservation of historically significant sites, structures, buildings, artifacts, industrial processes, bridges, railroads, canals, landscapes, and communities.
The SIA is a nonprofit, international, interdisciplinary organization that brings together people of varied backgrounds who share a common interest in the archeology of industry, engineering, and technology in general. Our diverse membership is our greatest asset. It includes architects, archeologists, engineers, industrialists, museum specialists, planners, historians, preservationists, teachers, students, retirees, and many non-professionals for whom industrial archeology is an exciting avocation.
The SIA is made up of members, world-wide, who have a strong interest in preserving, interpreting and documenting our industrial past and heritage. Whatever your profession or favorite pursuit, if you share our interest in the industrial past, we welcome you to join us.
With headquarters at the Department of Social Sciences at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan, the SIA is the North American forum for those who share an interest in industrial archeology. Through the organization’s four principal activities-an annual spring conference, an annual fall tour, semiannual journal, and quarterly newsletter-SIA members share their knowledge and raise awareness of the value of preserving the physical evidence of industry and technology.
The society’s annual conferences and fall tours are held in various cities and areas of the United States and Canada having a significant legacy of industrial activity. Both activities feature field trips to industrial and engineering sites of interest, including “process tours” of still-active plants not normally open to the public.
In addition to our regular programs and activities, the SIA makes annual awards for distinguished contributions to the field, sponsors occasional international study tours as well as awarding historic preservation grants. Local SIA chapters also offer programs and publications of regional interest.