Marie Nisser (1937 – 2011)

Marie Nisser was an art historian who came to be fascinated by the industrial heritage and greatly influenced its development not only in Sweden but across most of Europe. She studied at the University of Uppsala, with which she maintained a life-long connection and graduated there in art history. In 1967 she made her first visit to Britain, attending an industrial archaeology conference in Bath, and, as a result of contacts made there, was a delegate in 1973 at the First International Congress on the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (FICCIM) held at Ironbridge. She was subsequently largely responsible for organising the third meeting of that body in Sweden in 1978, and served as its president between 1984 and 1990, contributing substantially to the process by which TICCIH came to be recognised by UNESCO and ICOMOS.

Marie Nisser worked for a time at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm and was involved with numerous initiatives recording industrial heritage in Sweden, with ironworks, water power, forest industries, and pulp and paper mills. In 1976 she wrote guides to the ironworks at Engelsberg, which subsequently became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and to the industrial buildings of Norrköping. She was closely involved with the excavations at the ironworks at Lapphytta.

In 1992 she was appointed to the first professorial chair in industrial heritage research at the University of Uppsala where she established the Nordic/Baltic Industrial Heritage Platform, an international programme for training and research. She attended conferences on industrial heritage in almost every European country, delivering challenging lectures that were always illustrated by impeccable large format slides taken on a Hasselblad camera.