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

News Archive

HSN Symposium

Symposium ‘Leven en overleven in Limburg’, organised by the HSN, the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences (FASoS) of Maastricht University and the Sociaal Historisch Centrum voor Limburg (SHCL), 14 March 2019. Click here for the program.

Evelien Walhout

Evelien Walhout defended her PdD thesis entitled An infants' graveyard? Region, religion and infant mortality in North Brabant, 1840-1940 on 25 January 2019 at Tilburg University.

Ashkan Ashkpour

On Thursday 21 January 2019 Ashkan Ashkpour defended his PhD dissertation Theory and Practice of Historical Census Data Harmonization. The Dutch Historical Census Use Case: A Flexible, Structured and Accountable Approach using Linked Data. The defence took place at Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication. The promotor was professor Kees Mandemakers. For more information on the Cedar project, click here.

WieWasWie and LINKS linked

The links between marriage certificates produced by the HSN LINKS project are now available on the website of WieWasWie. For more information click here.

Annual Report

The HSN Annual Report 2017 is now available (PDF).

Occupational titles

Release 2018.01 of the HSN standardized, HISCO-coded and classified occupational titles (HISCLASS, HISCAM, SOCPO and OCC1950) is now available.

Annual Report

The HSN Annual Report 2016 is now available (PDF).

Kick off GIANTS project

At the 7th of September, the kick off of the GIANTS project took place at IISG. In this project, fully entitled ‘Giants of the modern world. A new history of heights and health in The Netherlands, 1811-1940’, the height of a subsample from HSN Research Persons (males) will be recorded from the recruitment registers. For more information about GIANTS use this link.

3 positions at HSN

The HSN is currently hiring three student assistants, two based at the IISH in Amsterdam, one in or near Zwolle.

Corinne Boter

On Friday 16 June 2017 Corinne Boter defended her PhD dissertation entitled Dutch Divergence? Women’s work, structural change, and household living standards in the Netherlands, 1830-1914. The defence took place at Wageningen University.

Annual Report

The HSN Annual Report 2015 is now available (PDF).

ECSR Prize for best PhD thesis for Antonie Knigge

At the conference of the European Consortium for Sociological Research, held 22-24 September 2016 in Oxford, UK, Antonie Knigge was awarded with the ECSR Prize for best PdD thesis written in 2015. His thesis is entitled Sources of Sibling Similarity. Status Attainment in the Netherlands during Modernization. The analyses in his research are based on data from WieWasWie (formerly GENLIAS). Antonie Knigge was a PhD student at the Department of Sociology/ICS Utrecht, where he now works as an assistant professor.

New website ICHD

The new ICHD website is hosted by the Radboud Group for Historical Demography and Family History in Nijmegen. The website is linked to a Facebook page.

Launch of Radboud Group for Historical Demography and Family History

4 July 2016 the new Radboud Group for Historical Demography and Family History was launched at the Radboud University.

LONGPOP - 2 positions hosted by IISH

The deadline for application is now extended to 30 April 2016. For more information and application, please see the LONGPOP website.

Jaap Dronkers

Jaap Dronkers, one of the founding fathers of the HSN, died unexpectedly at the age of 71. © photo Freddy Rikken

LONGPOP - 2 positions hosted by IISH

LONGPOP is now hiring 15 Early Stage Researchers positions in the EU Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie MSCA-ITN Project LONGPOP, two of the positions being hosted by the IISH:
ESR2-Evaluating and Documenting IDS Databases and Extraction Software
ESR11: Researching GIS systems of Historical Addresses.
For more information and application, please see the LONGPOP website (link is external). Deadline for application is 15 April 2016.


On 4 February 2016 the kick-off meeting of LONGPOP took place at CCHS-CSIC, in Madrid, Spain. For more information on this project, please see the LONGPOP website (link is external).

Ruben Schalk

Ruben Schalk defended his PdD thesis entitled Splitting the bill: matching schooling to Dutch labour markets, 1750-1920 on 18 December 2015 at Utrecht University.

Paul Puschmann

Paul Puschmann wrote a PhD thesis entitled Social Inclusion and Exclusion of Urban In-Migrants in Northwestern European Port Cities: Antwerp, Rotterdam & Stockholm ca. 1850-1930. On 15 December 2015 the doctoral defence took place at the KU Leuven, Belgium.

Book Population Reconstruction

Population Reconstruction by Gerrit Bloothooft (Utrecht University), Peter Christen (Australian National University), Kees Mandemakers (International Institute of Social History) and Marijn Schraagen (Utrecht University) explores the issues involved in using historical data in population reconstruction research.

Gosia Poplawska

On 12 October 2015 Gosia Poplawska defended her PhD thesis entitled 'Essays on insurance and health economics' at VU University Amsterdam.

Annual Report 2014

The HSN Annual Report 2014 is now available (PDF).

Antonie Knigge

On 12 June 2015 Antonie Knigge defended his thesis entitled Sources of Sibling Similarity. Status Attainment in the Netherlands during Modernization at Utrecht University.

Annual Report 2013

The HSN Annual Report 2013 is now available (PDF document, text in Dutch only).

Inaugural address Hilde Bras

On 4 December 2014 Hilde Bras gave her inaugural address, entitled 'Inequalities in Food Security and Nutrition: A Life Course Perspective', on Thursday 4 December 2014 at the Sociology of Consumers and Households group at Wageningen University.

Marijn Schraagen

On 11 November 2014 Marijn Schraagen defended his thesis entitled Aspects of Record Linkage at Leiden University.

New book by Angélique Janssens

On Wednesday 22 October 2014 the book launch of Labouring Lives. Women, work and the demographic transition in the Netherlands, 1880-1960 written by Angélique Janssens took place at Radboud University Nijmegen. Speakers were prof. Jane Humphries (Oxford) and prof. Paul Klep (Nijmegen).

Genes, Germs and Resources project

The HSN has started to build the datasets for the NWO-project Genes, Germs and Resources, researching the role of the family and the disease environment in mortality and longevity in the Netherlands, 1812-2015.

LINKS Demo Pedigrees Groningen and Drenthe

The LINKS project presented an application to search for persons in the marriage certificates of Groningen and Drenthe from the 19th and early 20th century. The application was made by Marijn Schraagen, Leiden University.

Workshop 'Population Reconstruction'

19-21 February 2014, the LINKS project will organise the workshop 'Population Reconstruction'. The workshop will be held at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam.

Release Dataset Dutch Place Names

A release with geographical (latlon) and other coded values of 7,925 Dutch place names is now available.

Release data and census report MOSAIC Netherlands

A report about the availability of census data and about thirty datasets of censuses are now available.

Release Occupational Titles

Release 2013.01 of the HSN standardized, HISCO-coded and classified occupational titles is now available.

Annual Report 2012

The HSN Annual Report 2012 is now available as a PDF document (text in Dutch only).

Ineke Maas

On 6 September 2013, Ineke Maas will hold her inaugural speech at the Sociology Department of VU University Amsterdam. The title of her lecture is 'Ontwikkelingen in sociale openheid en uitsluiting: een blik op het verleden en de toekomst'. More information.

Historical Life Course Studies

Launch of Historical Life Course Studies, a new peer-reviewed No-Fee Open Access journal of the European Historical Population Samples Network (EHPS-Net), funded by the European Science Foundation (ESF).

Wiebke Schulz

On 5 July 2013 Wiebke Schulz defended her thesis entitled Careers of Men and Women in the 19th and 20th Centuries at Utrecht University. More information.

Marco van Leeuwen

On 7 March 2013, Marco H.D. van Leeuwen held his inaugural speech at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences of Utrecht University. The title of his lecture was 'Historische sociologie'.

CLARIAH grant for HSN

HSN has received a grant of € 100,000 seed money from the CLARIAH project. The project will research and demonstrate the possibilities of extending and combining the HSN database with the LINKS database for the province of Zeeland. More information on HSN LINKS Zeeland (HLZ).

Launch of portal EHPS-Net

As of 6 December 2012, the portal of the European Historical Population Samples Network is online. The portal can be found at

Ineke Maas

Ineke Maas has been appointed by the HSN on the chair 'Long Term Trends in Social Openness and Social Exclusion' at the Sociology Department of VU University Amsterdam.

Annual Report 2011

The HSN Annual Report 2011 is now availabe as a PDF document (text in Dutch).

Prof. dr. Frans van Poppel

On 25 January 2012, Prof. dr. Frans van Poppel, Professor by Special Appointment of Kinship Demography, delivered his inaugural lecture 'De familie Doorsnee tegen het licht. Anderhalve eeuw veranderingen in de Nederlandse familiestructuur' at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences at Utrecht University.

Conference European Historical Population Samples Network (EHPS-Net)

On 20 and 21 January 2012, the first conference of the EHPS-Net took place. The conference was held at the IISH. Read more about the conference (.pdf).

Hilde Bras

The Young Academy selected Hilde Bras as one of her ten new members. The official installation will take place on 16 March 2012 in the Trippenhuis of the KNAW. More information.

XingChen Lin

On 15 November 2011 XingChen Lin defended her thesis entitled Female Heads of Households in Eurasian Societies. Taipei and Rotterdam in times of industrialization at the Radboud University Nijmegen. More information.

Symposium AlfaLab

On Thursday, 29 September 2011, AlfaLab Live will hold its closing symposium 'The future of Humanities: eHumanities in Practice'. On this occasion Kees Mandemakers will give a demonstration of LifeLab. See the website of AlfaLab for more information.

Annual Report 2010

The HSN Annual Report 2010 is now availabe as a PDF document (text in Dutch, 932 Kb).

CEDAR project awarded

CEDAR, a project with the Computational Humanities framework of the KNAW, has been awarded and will work to improve the accessibility of the census data.

Prof. Dr. Jan Kok

On 29 June 2011, Prof. Dr. Jan Kok delivered his inaugural lecture Levens lezen. Levensloop, demografie en cultuur in historisch perspectief (.pdf) at the Radboud University Nijmegen. As of 1 December 2010, Jan Kok is appointed professor in the Comparative History of the Life Course at the Faculty of Arts.

Project European Historical Population Samples Network (EHPS-Net)

On 14-15 June 2011, the kick-off meeting of the European Historical Population Samples Network (EHPS-Net) was held in Strasbourg. Read more about EHPS-Net.

Frans van Poppel

As of 1 January 2011, Frans van Poppel has been appointed as special full professor at the Department of Sociology of Utrecht University. More information at ICS website.

Jan Kok Professor

On 1 December 2010 Jan Kok was appointed professor in the Comparative History of the Life Course at the Faculty of Arts of the Radboud University Nijmegen.
Press release Radboud University Nijmegen.

Annual Report 2009

The HSN Annual Report 2009 is now available as PDF document (text in Dutch, 881 Kb).


Friday, 26 November 2010, the CATCH meeting LINKS: Reconstructing Historical Families wil be held at the IISH. Meer over de Catch Meeting.

HSN winner of the first DANS Data Award

Kees Mandemakers received the first DANS Data Award from Robbert Dijkgraaf, president of the The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) on 18 June in Amsterdam. More about the Dans Data Award 2010

Thesis Sumedha Gupta

On the 31st of May 2010, Sumedha Gupta defended her thesis entitled The Study of the Impact of Early Life Conditions on Later Life Events. A Look across the Individual's Lifecourse at Free University Amsterdam. She studied the interplay between early-life conditions and endogenous later life events, like marriage and fertility, in influencing adult health and life outcomes using HSN-data from the provinces of Friesland, Utrecht and Zeeland.

NWO grant for Linked Lives

Hilde Bras (VU) en Ineke Maas ( UU) received a grant from NWO (Investment Subsidy NWO Medium) of € 462.000 for the project Linking Historical Lives (Linked Lives): A database with 150 Years of Life Courses of Brothers and Sisters (1850-2010).

Thesis Richard Zijdeman

On 23 April 2010, Richard Zijdeman defended his thesis entitled Status attainment in the Netherlands, 1811-1941. Spatial and temporal variation before and during industrialization at Utrecht University. He describes and explains the process of status attainment in the Netherlands using data from the HSN and the GENLIAS data from Zeeland.

New Publication

Kees Mandemakers, Jan Kok and Hilde Bras (ed.). Van geboortebank tot collaboratory. De Historische Steekproef Nederland (HSN). [From a database of births to a collaboratory. The Historical Sample of the Netherlands]. Special issue Tijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis.

Annual Report 2008

The HSN Annual Report 2008 is now available as PDF document
(text in Dutch, 1.1 Mb).

HSN/IISG participates in Alfalab

From 2010 onwards the HSN will participate in Alfalab. A so-called lifelab will be established by building a portal for historical population counts and exploring ways of integrating data. The building of a well defined, open and easy access to the data of the Historical Sample of the Netherlands will be the first pilot.

New Publication

Ineke Maas, Marco H.D. van Leeuwen, Kees Mandemakers (ed.)
Honderdvijftig jaar levenslopen. De Historische Steekproef Nederlandse bevolking (Hundred and fifty years life courses. The Historical Sample of the Netherlands). Amsterdam. 2008.

CATCH grant for LINKS project

The NWO programme Continuous Access to Cultural Heritage has awarded a grant to build a LINKing System for historical family reconstruction. The project is a cooperation between HSN/IISH, LIACS, Meertens Institute, NIDI, VKS and the GENLIAS' archives and is directed by Kees Mandemakers.

Annual Report 2007

The HSN Annual Report 2007 is now available as PDF document
(text in Dutch, 539 Kb).

Kees Mandemakers professor

On 1 September 2008 Kees Mandemakers, head of HSN, was appointed professor of Large Historical Databases at the Faculty of History and Arts of the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Life Courses in the 19th and 20th Century

Concluding congress of the NW0-Groot program 'Life courses in context'
Amsterdam IISH, 11 April 2008

Thesis Ruben van Gaalen

On the 5th of October 2007, Ruben van Gaalen presented his thesis entitled Solidarity and Ambivalence in Parent-Child Relationships at Utrecht University. Part of his thesis analyses the family environment of children for the period from 1850 till the present on the basis of a combined dataset from HSN and NKPS.

Annual Report 2006

The HSN annual report 2006 is available as PDF document (text in Dutch, 761Kb).

New Publication

Paul van de Laar, Leo Lucassen & Kees Mandemakers (red.), Naar Rotterdam. Immigratie en levensloop in Rotterdam vanaf het einde van de negentiende eeuw

Annual Report 2005

The HSN annual report 2005 is available as PDF document (text in Dutch, 2 Mb).

Hollanders op drift

The Hague, 6 October 2006 Symposium on migration and demographic developments in Holland in the 19th and 20th century.

HSN and Zeeland

The latest special issue of Zeeland is entirely dedicated to the HSN and Zeeland.

HSN Workshop

Amsterdam, 21 March 2006
Disseminating and Analyzing Longitudinal Historical Data

Annual Report 2004

The HSN annual report 2004 is available as PDF document (text in Dutch, 563 Kb).

Thesis Margaret Chotkowski

On 11 October 2005, Margaret Chotkowski presented her thesis on Italian migrants in the Netherlands. The thesis is entitled Vijftien ladders en een dambord. Contacten van Italiaanse migranten in Nederland, 1860-1940 (Thesis University of Amsterdam, 2005).

New Publication

Jan Kok & Marco H.D. van Leeuwen (ed.), Genegenheid en gelegenheid. Twee eeuwen partnerkeuze en huwelijk (Amsterdam 2005). Hierin de volgende bijdragen:
- M. van Leeuwen, I. Maas en K. Mandemakers, 'Het kiezen van een huwelijkspartner in Nederland 1840-1940. De rol van de familie', 63-84.
- M. Schrover, 'Huwelijk, gender, migratie en integratie. Partnerkeuze van Duitsers in Utrecht in de negentiende eeuw', 135-158.
- J. Kok & K. Mandemakers, 'Vrije keuze uit een beperkt aanbod. De huwelijksmarkt in Utrecht en Zeeland 1850-1940', 213-230.
- D. Damsma & J. Kok, 'Ingedroogde harten? Partnerkeuze en sociale reproductie van de Noord-Hollandse boerenstand in de negentiende en vroeg-twintigste eeuw', 285-308.

World History Conference

3-9 July 2005, World History Conference, Sydney, with a session New Sources for Historical demographic research (papers available).

New Publication

J. Kok, K. Mandemakers & H. Wals, 'City nomads: changing residence as a coping, Amsterdam, 1890-1940', Social Science History 29 (2005) 1, 15-44.

The HSN and Zeeland:

Conference Middelburg, May 27, 2005:
Zeeuwen in beweging. De HSN en Zeeland. (Text in Dutch)

AKON Project Finished

See the site of the Zeeuws Archief (text in Dutch).

The HSN and Rotterdam:

Conference Rotterdam, January 21, 2005:
Rotterdammers van binnen en van buiten. De HSN en Rotterdam. (Text in Dutch)

Annual Report 2003

The HSN annual report 2003 is available as PDF document (text in Dutch, 406 Kb).

New website Life Courses in Context (LCC)

New site launched on June 22, 2004:, a collaboratory based on Dutch population registers and censuses (19th and 20th century).

Three million EURO

The HSN in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute for Scientific Information Services (NIWI) is granted a fund of over three million EURO by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) for the project 'Life courses in context'. The programme's objective is to develop a database with about 40.000 individual life courses of people born in the period of 1863-1922. This database with microdata will be supplemented with core data on the level of the municipalities. This will be done by digitalizing the results of the ten-yearly censuses as they were taken between 1859 and 1947. Above this amount the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has granted 600.000 EURO. For more information see

Thesis Hilde Bras

June 10, 2002, Hilde Bras presented her thesis on geographical and social mobility of female civil servants in the Netherlands, Zeeland, at the University of Utrecht. The thesis is called Zeeuwse meiden. Dienen in de levensloop van vrouwen ca. 1850-1950 (IISG Studies + Essays 34, Aksant, Amsterdam, price: € 27,70). The data used for this thesis were HSN data of women born between 1835 and 1927 on Zeeland islands.

Lectures Friesland published

The lectures, given at the symposium Over Friese mensen (About Friesian people) at Leeuwarden in February 2001, have been published. The journal includes contributions from Kees Mandemakers (HSN in Friesland), Frans van Poppel and Kees Mandemakers (Child mortality ), Doreen Gerritzen (Friesian given names) and Ineke Maas & Marco van Leeuwen (Marriage mobility in Friesland).
'Oer Fryske minsken/Over Friese mensen', It Baeken, Tydskrift fan de Fryske Akademy, 63, 3-4, price € 10.-.