Institut d'Histoire ouvrière, économique et sociale

  • Institute of Labour, Economic and Social History


Avenue Montesquieu 3


+32 (0)4 224 60 71


For nearly forty years, IHOES has preserved the memory of workers and their struggles for emancipation – in all its facets and through all types of documents – and is also responsible for bringing this exceptional historical heritage to life, promoting it through a series of activities (events, exhibitions, conferences, training courses, etc.) and using it to contribute to the analysis of the present through numerous articles and studies.

IHOES owes its existence to two exceptional individuals. At the end of the 1970s, Michel Hannotte and René Deprez, two committed historians, intended to overcome the disdain classical historiography had for social history and to offset the disappearance of Wallonia’s economic and social archives. Indeed, if at the time there was already legislation in place to ensure the preservation of public archives, nothing existed for private archives. Thanks to the combined action of these two historians from Liège, an important documentary and archival body gradually took shape.

In 1979, the IHOES collections were deposited in the municipal library of the City of Liège "Les Chiroux". About ten years later, after temporary installation in private premises, IHOES was transferred to the town hall of Jemeppe-sur-Meuse (Seraing), a place it still occupies today.

Archival and Other Holdings

The IHOES collections are rich and varied. Its archive centre contains many collections concerning the political, trade union, socio-economic, associative and cultural fields, as well as an important iconographic collection composed of posters, photos (including the photographic collection of the newspapers La Wallonie-Le Matin), postcards, drawings, lithographs and paintings (including Edmond Dubrunfaut and Forces Murales donations).

IHOES also holds many objects (badges, banners, sculptures), audiovisual documents (records, audio and video cassettes, films) and nearly 15,000 scores of music and songs with social themes. Its library contains more than 40,000 books (including some rare books), 13,000 specialized brochures and nearly 2,000 periodical titles.

The major archival themes of the IHOES collections are as follows:

  • Political archives

  • Archives related to the world wars, pacifism and resistance

  • Economic and business archives

  • Educational, cultural and philosophical archives

  • Social archives

  • Individual archives

  • Union archives

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

A general overview of the IHOES's collections can be found here:

The IHOES also has an online catalogue, CollectiveAccess, for more targeted searches that can be found at the following link:

Opening Times

Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m and Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Conditions of Access

Before visiting the IHOES, visitors need to contact the institute by contacting Christel Mawet or by filling out the form on the following web page:

A request to consult documents at the IHOES must include the visitor's complete contact details as well as the purpose and background of the research.

As the majority of Institution's documents are located in warehouses located outside the head office, it is necessary to allow several days between the date of submission of the request and the date of the appointment.

On their first visit, visitors receive a reader card necessary for consulting the collections. The annual registration fee is 5 €.

During their visit to IHOES, visitors will be asked to sign the visitor register and indicate the precise purpose of their research.

Reproduction Services

It is possible to reproduce certain documents, with authorization and in accordance with the rates and regulations in force. For more information, you can consult the IHOES regulations here:

Scans and photocopies of documents may be obtained by agreement and cash payment of any fees and charges. A reproduction right is required for any use other than personal use.

Readers can take photos of documents with their own cameras, but they must request authorisation by filling out a photographic reproduction form. This form can be found here:

Any request for the reproduction of documents for public use must be made in writing. Declaration of Public Use form can be found here:

Photocopies and/or scans are made by the person in charge of the reading room. The rates for this service are as follows:

  • A4 photocopies: 0,25 €
  • A3 photocopies: 0,50 €
  • Scans: 10 € (beyond 10 scans, the price is 5 € each)


  • Institute of Labour, Economic and Social History website consulted on 19/07/2019

  • Pierre-Alain Tallier (dir.), Gertjan Desmet & Pascale Falek-Alhadeff, Sources pour l'histoire des populations juives et du judaïsme en Belgique/Bronnen voor de geschiedenis van de Joden en het Jodendom in België, 19de-21ste eeuw, Brussel, ARA-AGR/Avant-Propos, 2016, 1,328 p.