Skip to main content

Artefacts consortium

Artefacts is an association of historians of science, technology, engineering and medicine working in museums and academic institutions who use material culture in historical study and public displays.

Artefacts encourages new research and collaboration through annual meetings and publications.


Artefacts was founded by Deutsches Museum, Science Museum and Smithsonian in 1996. Since then, Artefacts has brought together academics and museum professionals from around the world to share research which focuses on material culture and object studies.


Artefacts is held annually in the Autumn, hosted by a museum which specialises in the history of science, technology and medicine.

The 2023 meeting is taking place at the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo, October 8-10. Please contact for further information about the conference.

Download information on key topics and how to submit a proposal (deadline was June 30, 2023)

Past meetings


Publications are a core output of Artefacts meetings. Copies are distributed to libraries world-wide and can be accessed from the following links:

  • Volumes 11 and 12 (Challenging Collections and Behind the Exhibit) are published by Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press and can be downloaded free from the Smithsonian website.
  • Volume 8: Material Culture and Electronic Sound is available through Rowman and Littlefield.
  • Volumes 7, 9 and 10 (Illuminating Instruments, Analyzing Art and Aesthetics, and Objects in Motion: Globalizing Technology) are available from Random House.
  • Volumes 1 to 6 (Manifesting MedicineExposing ElectronicsTackling TransportPresenting PicturesMaterializing the Military, and Showcasing Space).


Part of the Science Museum Group