Medieval Technology

A guide to some of the websites dealing with information about Medieval Technology.

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The discipline of the history of technology is relatively young. Those in that field who specialize particularly in Medieval technology are even rarer. Although there is no one core survey book or website which deals with the subject, there are many which do it justice, especially as introduction sites and texts. Online, Paul Gans' Medieval Technology website is a good place to start. It covers many significant highlights of Medieval technology.

There is a steadily growing body of online work devoted to the subject of Medieval technology. Most deal with a particular aspect of the field - clocks, maps, or pottery, for example. Many museums have useful images of pieces in their collection online, which may also be of help. also, it's worth checking the websites of academic societies devoted to the study of the history of technology or the period - many include bibliographies or other annotated lists with useful pointers to relevant information.


  • Paul Gans' Medieval Technology pages
    These are the main webpages devoted to the history of Medieval technology currently available online.
  • ORB
    "The Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies"; it consists of a series of scholar-written and edited essays, and includes essays particularly on aspects of Medieval technology.
  • Labyrinth
    Labyrinth is an index of websites on medieval topics; a large number of its categories cover technological topics, from architecture to travel; unfortunately, none of these categories currently have many entries.
  • Anno Mille
    A good Italian langauge site which catalogs online resources for the study of the Middle ages.
  • Wikipedia's Technology Section
    Collection of material on historical technologies, including timelines; free, collaborative encyclopedia. The information on Medieval technology is still fairly nascent. Last I looked, the definition the wikipedia provided on technology was entirely dependent on science, a concept which does not do justice to Medieval technology.


  • Cronaca
    A weblog focused on current news in art history, archaeology, and the like. Often includes posts of interest to those looking for information on Medieval technology.
  • Ancient World Wide Web
    A weblog devoted to information about all aspects of antiquity online and in the news. It occasionally ventures close enough to the present to include information on relevant Medieval sources.
  • das collectiv
    History of technology and media news. Occasionally relevant.
  • Economist
    Better for modern technology, but once in a blue moon...
  • SciTech Daily
    Also focused on modern technology, but now and again...

academic organizations:

  • Avista
    Medieval technology, architecture, and art history organization
  • Society for the History of Technology
    aka SHOT.
    SHOT is the major North American society devoted to the study of the history of technology.
  • History of Technology Institutions
    SHOT's list of links to history of technology resources in general; particularly strong for institutions and discussion groups
    Major European History of Technology group
  • History of Science Society
    Although technology is not at the core of the society's mandate, it regularly publishes articles on the use of technology in the practice of science.
  • British Society for the History of Science
    This society includes the history of technology in its mandate - there is no separate society devoted to technology in Britain.


sources and artifacts:

  • The Explorer Project
    An interactive site which helps students explore Medieval archaeological projects in Ireland.
  • Astrolabes
    Site devoted to the history of the astrolabe
  • Horology
    Good survey of the major materials available online - and a great deal off-line. But only current as of 1999, last checked.
  • Late Medieval Maps
    Many are illustrated. All are listed chronologically.
  • Medieval Pottery Research Group
  • Medieval Sourcebook
    A good source of primary sources highlighted aspects of Medieval life.
  • Medieval Windmill Project
    Penn State's Medieval Windmill project is a good example of how a project can be worked into coursework in multiple courses from multiple departments. In this case, architecture and engineering students built a half-scale working Medieval post-mill.


This list is only a starting place. Do not by any means think that only English-language museums have relevant information available online or in their collections.

other information: