Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations


The International Institute of Social History (IISH) was officially established on 25 November 1935, but its history goes back to the 1920s. In 1914, Nicolaas W. Posthumus (1880-1960), who ranked among the pioneers of modern economic history in the Netherlands had set up the Netherlands Economic History Archive (NEHA), the first of a series of scholarly institutions he initiated. The NEHA concentrated on the preservation of archives of companies and related organizations, and on the collection of other sources relevant to economic history. Since Posthumus was a collector with a broad vision, he included materials from individuals and organizations in the Dutch labour movement. Read more about the history of the IISH...

Why is the manuscript of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital, the chef d’oeuvre of one of the most widely known Germans ever, located in Amsterdam?  A somewhat longer answer appears in text Working for Labour. Three quarters of a century of collecting at the IISH, taken from the exhbition catalogue Rebels with a Cause (by Jaap Kloosterman and Jan Lucassen, 2010).

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