Research into history of metallurgy

Research into the history of mining and metallurgy encompasses both the archaeological record and historical documentation and research. It also includes the protection of cultural and industrial environments connected with the production of metals, with the accent on the development of the iron industry.  

The Historical Metallurgy Group

Research into the history of mining and metallurgy has been closely tied to Jernkontoret, ever since the 1920’s. It was in the mid-1960’s that a historical metallurgy group was first established. Ever since that time, it has led the task of 

  • promoting historical research concerning mining and metallurgy
  • enabling collaboration between researchers 
  • submitting proposals and prioritising urgent assignments
  • arranging lectures, discussion and field studies
  • facilitating rapid publication of, and disseminating information about, the results

Activities involve both archaeological and historical documentation and research as well as cultural heritage conservation relating to the production of metals. The accent, nevertheless, is placed on the development of the iron and steel industry. Activities cover all historical epochs and are Nordic in scope.

 Learn more about the activities within the Historical Metallurgy Group:

The Historical Metallurgy Group has ten members and is multidisciplinary in character. The Group meets twice a year.


Olle Wijk, former Head of Group R&D at Sandvik

Other members

Fredric Bedoire, Emeritus Professor, Royal Institute of Art
Kjersti Bosdotter, Arbetarnas Kulturhistoriska Sällskap
Clas Ericson, Metallurgical Engineer
Martin Fritz, Emeritus Professor, University of Gothenburg
Carl-Magnus Gagge, former Director, Västmanland County Museum
Gert Magnusson, Associate Professor
Elisabeth Nilsson, former MD Jernkontoret
Anders Nordebring, Regional Archives
Arne Sundström, Metallurgical Engineer
Magdalena Tafvelin Heldner, The National Museum of Science and Technology 

Co-opted member

Yngve Axelsson, Librarian, Jernkontoret
Orvar Nyquist, former MD of Jernkontoret


Catarina Karlsson, Research assistant, Jernkontoret


Jernkontoret is responsible for the basic funding, but the largest input comprises the unremunerated work put in by the various participants. For certain major projects which require the services of professional researchers, external funding is sought.

Committee of experts

A committee of experts works under the Historical Metallurgy Group. The committee, comprising twenty members plus a chairperson, is also multidisciplinary in composition and meets twice a year.

The tasks of the committee involve co-ordinating the committee work, initiating research and setting priorities among different projects. Like the Group as a whole, it has to keep abreast of developments in this field both nationally and internationally.

Below the committee of experts, individual research committees work on their respective projects,
For futher information, see Current projects.


Gert Magnusson, Stockholm

Other members

Björn Ivar Berg, Norwegian Mining Museum, Kongsberg, Norway
Björn Björck, Archdiocese of Uppsala
Göran Carlsson, Rosvik
David Damell, Strängnäs
Ida Dicksson, Industriantikvarie 
Kerstin Fernheden, Täby
Georg Haggrén, University of Helsinki, Finland
Eva Hjärthner-Holdar, Arkeologerna, National Historical Museums (SHMM)
Anders Houltz, Centrum för Näringslivshistoria
Maths Isacson, Uppsala University, Economic History
Birgit Karlsson, University of Gothenburg
Catarina Karlsson, Bergslagen's Medieval Museum with "Nya Lapphyttan"
Anders Lundgren, Uppsala University, History of Ideas and Science
Mats Lundmark, Örebro University, Human Geography and Social Sciences
Ulf Melin, Uppsala
Dag Noréus, Stockholm University, Inorganic Chemistry
Ing-Marie Pettersson Jensen, Avesta Municipality
Stig Rubæk, Hundested, Denmark
Anders Ödman, Lund University, Historical Archaeology