Pre-industrial technical heritage and its message for the contemporary world



24-25 November 2022

National Museum in Nature – Wallachian Museum in Nature, Rožnov pod Radhoštěm


The theme of the conference is the possibilities of research and conservation of pre-industrial technical operations and traditional technologies in situ. Monuments and objects such as mills, sawmills, fulling mills, tilt hammers, bleachers, drying plants, forges, glassworks, stone workshops, brickworks, potash works, and other small-scale operations including their accompanying infrastructure (mill races, water reservoirs, weirs) represent a valuable cultural heritage, reflect the production and technical skills of our ancestors, provide evidence of the efficient and problematic use of natural resources and preserve a hitherto under-reflected reservoir of knowledge and adaptations for the challenges of the contemporary world. These industries have also left a distinctive mark on the landscape, verbal tradition, individual and collective memory and identity, and are closely linked to the genius loci of specific places and regions. Despite the growing interest of both the general public and professionals, these objects and their remains still do not receive sufficient attention. Many have disappeared almost without trace, the vast majority are in private ownership and archival collections provide only limited insight into their history. They therefore represent a very specific and complex subject of research and potential institutional conservation, and to a large extent remain a blind spot in our systematic understanding of the technical background of our ancestors. We hope that the papers presented at our conference will help to fill this blind spot and contribute to the discussion on how to better recognize, make more visible and more effectively protect and develop the cultural heritage of pre-industrial technical operations. The conference will also include an excursion to preinddustrial technical operations in the Rožnov region.

Thematic areas of the conference:

  1. Preindustrial technical operations as an interdisciplinary research problem – methods, sources, research results
  2. Preindustrial technical operations as a practical problem of heritage protection – principles, possibilities, tools, legislation, actors
  3. Examples of good practice of protection and restoration of preindustrial technical heritage

Registration for the conference is open until 30 June. The decision on paper acceptance will be announced by 31 July. The conference programme will be published during October. Up-to-date information about the conference and the registration form can be found on the conference website –

Conference languages include Czech, Slovak, Polish and English.


On behalf of the organizing team:

PhDr. Přemysl Mácha, Ph.D.

Etnologický ústav AV ČR, v. v.                         


Doc. Daniel Drápala, Ph.D.   

 Ústav evropské etnologie FF MU