History Column

Unveiling the Engineering and Technology History Wiki

By Nathan Brewer

Readers of IEEE-USA InSight may be familiar with the IEEE Global History Network (GHN), the IEEE History Center’s main platform for exhibition and publication of its materials. With funding from a grant from the United Engineering Foundation, the IEEE History Center has partnered with six other engineering societies ” the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Institute of Mining Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society of Petroleum Engineers, and the Society of Women Engineers to expand the IEEE Global History Network by launching the Engineering and Technology History Wiki (ETHW). The IEEE History Center is proud to announce that the ETHW is live and can be viewed at https://ethw.org.

The GHN’s scope was limited in a sense that its focus was the history of electrical engineering and other fields related to IEEE’s interests. The ETHW, however, aims to capture the history of all disciplines of engineering and related fields of interest beyond IEEE. Expanding the scope of the site allows the History Center to better serve its mission of reaching the public and a much wider body of potentially interested readers.

All of the content on the GHN has been migrated to the ETHW. This includes several thousand encyclopedic articles, more than 600 oral histories, and approximately 200 First Hand Histories, as well as thousands of scanned archival documents, including hundreds of hours of audiovisual material. In addition to the content migrated over from the GHN, IEEE’s partner societies have begun posting their own content. The Society of Women Engineers has posted 45 oral histories as of February 2015, and will be posting roughly 50 more. The Society of Petroleum Engineers has posted 15 oral histories and 15 First Hand Histories on the website.

The ETHW’s user database has also been preserved from the GHN. If you had previously registered an account on the GHN, the login and password credentials will still be active. Both the GHN and the ETHW are running on MediaWiki, so users familiar with the editing interface of the GHN will feel right at home on the ETHW.

The IEEE Milestones proposal process has been moved off the ETHW and is now residing on its own site at https://ieeemilestones.ethw.org. Users interested in the IEEE Milestones program or submitting an IEEE Milestone can view relevant information here.

Over the course of 2015, the ETHW will be approaching additional engineering associations for future partnerships. The IEEE History Center believes that greater diversity in the partnerships of the ETHW will lead to a more comprehensive body of content.


The IEEE History Center strongly encourages readers of IEEE-USA InSight to not only explore the content on the ETHW, but to contribute your own content. As the ETHW is a wiki, users can register for accounts and submit their experiences. Writing a First Hand History on the ETHW is a great way to preserve your memories and experiences so they can be enjoyed and viewed by future generations; and contributing to encyclopedic articles helps the IEEE History Center record the legacy of IEEE members and technologies. If you have any questions about the website or how to submit content, please do not hesitate to contact Nathan Brewer at n.w.brewer@ieee.org.

Nathan Brewer is digital content manager at the IEEE History Center at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J.
Visit the IEEE History Center’s Web page at: https://www.ieee.org/about/history_center/index.html

Guest Contributor

IEEE-USA is an organizational unit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE), created in 1973 to support the career and public policy interests of IEEE’s U.S. members. IEEE-USA is primarily supported by an annual assessment paid by U.S. IEEE Members.

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