Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis

  • International Institute of Social History


Cruquiusweg 31
North Holland
1019 AT


+(31) (0)20 - 6685866


+(31) (0)20 - 6654181


The International Institute of Social History (IISH) was officially established on November 25, 1935, but its history dates back to the 1920s. In 1914, Nicolaas W. Posthumus (1880-1960), who ranked among the pioneers of modern economic history in the Netherlands had set up the Netherlands Economic History Archive (NEHA), the first of a series of scholarly institutions he initiated. The NEHA concentrated on the preservation of archives of companies and related organisations, and on the collection of other sources relevant to economic history. Since Posthumus was a collector with a broad vision, he included materials from individuals and organisations in the Dutch labour movement.

Since 1979 the IISH has been an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).

Archival and Other Holdings

Personal archives at the IISH are (among many others) the collections of the papers of Diego Abad de Santillán, Alexander Atabekian, Angelica Balabanoff, Bernt Carlsson, Ruth Fischer, Emma Goldman, Rudolf Hilferding, Karl Kautsky, Gustav Landauer, Arthur Lehning, Max Nettlau, Theodor Liebknecht, Toma Sik and Leon Trotsky.

There are also many institutional archives, among which the archives of the Russian Socialist Revolutionary Party, the Red Army Faction and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. Moreover, in the last decades the institute acquired the archives of Greenpeace and Amnesty International.

For more information click here.

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

The Archives Index provides information about the more than 3,000 archives and collections that are kept at the IISH. Every entry in the index is linked to a brief description and finding aid of the relevant archive. The archives are indexed alphabetically and by country. Archives and archival finding aids can be searched in the catalogue also. Descriptions of Dutch archives are in Dutch, the other ones are in English. IISH’s leading archives are fully available to view online via the Institute’s catalogue.

The online search engine can be found here.

Opening Times

Opening hours of the Reading Room: Monday to Thursday: 9.00 - 17:00

Conditions of Access

You can request materials via the catalogue: Please note that permission is required for the use of some archives. This information is listed under the heading 'Access and Use' on the archive description page. You can request permission via the online catalogue. Please arrange permission before making an appointment. The material can be consulted in the reading room. Visitors do not have access to the stacks. Pre-requested material is available at 10:00. You can request material during the day. Material is retrieved from the stacks 4 times a day, at: 9:30, 11:00, 13:00 and 15:00.


Keep in mind that there is only paid parking space near the IISH.

The building is accessible for wheel chairs users.

Research Services

For questions on collections and for assistance in finding information, you contact the staff at the information desk. At the desk you can also request materials from the depots, deposit or return documents.

Reproduction Services

In general, library and archive material, provided it is in good condition, may be scanned, photographed or copied. For printing or scanning from microfiche, equipment is available. For scanning, copying and printing equipment is available.


  • IISH Archives website consulted on 31/10/2014

    Pierre-Alain Tallier (dir.), Gertjan Desmet & Pascale Falek-Alhadeff, Bronnen voor de geschiedenis van de Joden en het Jodendom in België, 19de-21ste eeuw, Brussel, ARA-AGR/Avant-Propos, 2016, 1328 p.

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