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


  • Number: 2711 objects (as of 1.1.2003)
  • Format: Sculptures, boxes, games, glass and earthenware, gavels, propaganda material.
  • Access: The objects are accessible through the catalogue. Search for 'object' plus organisation, person, or subject.
  • Consultation: Available for exhibitions only. Originals can be consulted in the reading room by previous arrangement.
  • Reproductions: Digital images (high resolution) can be ordered - see rates.

Some important collections

Sculptures, busts and reliefs of Fourier, Lenin, Malatesta, Mao, Louise Michel, Pieter Jelles Troelstra, Zamenhof, Wibaut.
Biographical objects, such as death masks of Auguste Blanqui and Ferdinand Lasalle, the urn of Max Nettlau, a medal presented to Sylvia Pankurst after a hunger strike by members of the WPSU, the hearing aid of Henri Polak.
Objects honouring or ridiculing important political personnages: Chinese items relating to Mao, a jumping jack representing Franz Josef Strauss, masks and matrjoska puppets of Stalin, Breznjev and Gorbachev, a bottle of Zjirinovski Vodka, a bone representing Khadaffi.

Small objects
Intended for membership recruitment and election propaganda, promotional or jubilee gifts: plaques, medals, coins, balloons, ballpoints, beer coaters, matchboxes, lighters, playing cards, stamps, decorative plates, money boxes, games, etc.
Membership gifts from Dutch unions (cutlery, spoons, wallets, etc.), money boxes and enameled plates.

Other historical objects, souvenirs, etc.
The Netherlands:
Chairperson's gavels from Dutch unions and temperance organisations; items related to the socialist youth movement such as totem poles and camping equipment; painted election board for Provo 1966; large objects from De Centrale in Den Haag; a mask designed for an anti-Navy demonstration in 1923.

Other countries:
Congress portfolio of the 1907 Congress of the Second International, the 1920 Komintern Congress in Moscow; music box playing the Internationale; brick from Paris, May '68; bullet fired at the Square of Heavenly Peace, Beijing 1989; the Gang of Four as targets designed as a toy; puppets in the uniform of the Junge Pioniere of the Freie Deutsche Jugend, GDR; anarchist mascot from the Spanish Civil War.