International Institute of Social History (IISH)

  • Description
  • 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.

    Research projects

    Datahubs and Region Desks



    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.


    Besides jour­nals, the Insti­tute pub­lishes books and book series in col­lab­o­ra­tion with a num­ber of renowned inter­na­tional aca­d­e­mic publishers.


    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).


    Phone +31.20.6685866
    Address Cruquiusweg 31

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