Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations
The International Institute of Social History (IISH) is one of the world’s largest documentation and research centres in the field of social and economic history. Since its foundation in 1935, the Institute has dedicated itself to the collection, preservation and availability of the heritage of social movements worldwide.
IISH Research focuses on the transnational and transcontinental study of labour, labour relations and workers’ social movements in the broadest sense of the word.
Its Global Labour History Programme concerns the history of all those people who through their work have built our modern world — not only wage labourers, but also chattel slaves, sharecroppers, housewives, the self-employed, and many other groups. It focuses on the labour relations of these people, as individuals but also as members of households, networks and other contexts. Global Labour History covers the last five centuries and, in principle, all continents. It compares developments in several parts of the world and attempts to reveal intercontinental connections and interactions.
For more information see the position paper by Marcel van der Linden Globalizing Labour Historiography: The IISH Approach and the paper by Jan Luiten van Zanden On global economic history; a personal view on an agenda for future research.
- Current projects on Global Labour History, Global Migration History, and Global Economic History.
- Past projects
Datahubs and Region Desks
- Region Desks (Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Russia) staffed by IISH researchers
- Datahubs and collaboratories
The International Institute of Social History (IISH) conducts advanced research on the global history of work, workers, and labour relations and to this end gathers data, which are made available to other researchers as well.
In addition to its core mission of collecting and research, since its foundation the Institute has been active in the area of scholarly publications: journals, books, and, increasingly, online open access publications.
The International Review of Social History (IRSH, published since 1956) is one of the leading international journals in social and economic history. The Tijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis/Low Countries Journal of Social and Economic History (TSEG), published on behalf of the Institute and the Dutch-Economic History Archive (NEHA), is one of the premier Dutch-Flemish journals in social and economic history.
All online publications are accessible and available as free downloads (open access). Check the IISH Research Papers or the Biographical Dictionary of socialism and the workers’ movement in the Netherlands (BWSA).