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Conceptual work and information management of textile technical terminology by Margrethe Hald et al.

On 2 June 2021 Susanne Lervad and Morten Grymer-Hansen from CTR participated in the NORDTERM 2021 conference, where they presented the terminological work carried out by Margrethe Hald and a network of women scholars from the Nordic countries in mid 20th century as part of the research project Margrethe Hald: The Life and Work of a Textile Pioneer - new insights and perspectives

Below you can read the abstract for the presentation and by clicking the PDF icon in the top right corner, you can view the powerpoint presentation. Later this year an article will be published as part of the conference proceedings from NORDTERM 2021.


The Centre for  Textile Research (CTR) at the Saxo Institute of the University of Copenhagen has now digitized the archive of pioneer textile researcher Margrethe Hald with generous support from Agnes Geijers Textile Research Foundation. CTR  was given the unique material by Hald’s family which is now available for study at Margrethe Hald the Life and Work of a Textile Pioneer: new insights and perspectives – University of Copenhagen (

The CTR team has discovered that there is much more to the  Hald’s story than previously thought, including a large quantity of unique material now at the National Museum of Denmark and of the Danish  National Archives, which has never been researched.

The Hald archive provides evidence of work on international terminology to agree multilingual vocabularies of textiles and weaving from the 20th century – mainly for the Centre International d’Etude des Textiles Anciens (CIETA), which is now available as online vocabularies (CIETA - CENTRE INTERNATIONAL D'ETUDE DES TEXTILES ANCIENS). The Nordic contributions to this are currently available and searchable at Textile Dictionary | historical textiles. The recognition of a need for a more systematic approach to weaving concepts in the CIETA terminology work has led to a plan for a new conceptual analysis aimed at aligning it with the work of textilnet.

A collaboration between Hald, Agnes Geijer and other Nordic women textile researchers was established in the 1930s. It included Marta Hoffmann in Norway, Toini-Inkeri Kaukonen in Finland,and Elsa E. Guðjónsson in Iceland.
Correspondence between Hald and Geijer illustrates the systematic approach they took to the challenge of collecting and conceptualising weaving terminology more than 30 years before the first publication of the CIETA vocabulary  Nordisk Tekstilteknisk Terminologi in 1967, and the successs of the subsequent Nordic versions (NTT) in 1974 and 1979. Exploring the unique position of the ground-breaking terminological work done by a network of women scholars from the Nordic countries help to understand and appreciate their important contributions to the field. They were working within a field that was slowly coming into its own – and that was uniquely dominated by the second generation of women in academic life. Across the decades, they shared their ideas and their lives through letters, postcards, and gifts of books, and nurtured friendships grounded in scholarships and a shared experience as women academics.

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