International Institute of Social History

International Institute of Social History

Ask a question about 'International Institute of Social History'
Start a new discussion about 'International Institute of Social History'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum

The International Institute of Social History is a historical research institute in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

. It was founded in 1935 by Nicolaas Posthumus
Nicolaas Wilhelmus Posthumus
Nicolaas Wilhelmus Posthumus or N.W. Posthumus was a Dutch economic historian and political scientist. In 1915, he founded and published the Economisch-Historisch Jaarboek—a yearly collection of primary source documents and empirical analysis of Dutch merchant records...

. The IISG is part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences is an organisation dedicated to the advancement of science and literature in the Netherlands...


It was founded as a new location for documents relating to the history of social movement
Social movement
Social movements are a type of group action. They are large informal groupings of individuals or organizations focused on specific political or social issues, in other words, on carrying out, resisting or undoing a social change....

s, in particular the labour movement
Labour movement
The term labour movement or labor movement is a broad term for the development of a collective organization of working people, to campaign in their own interest for better treatment from their employers and governments, in particular through the implementation of specific laws governing labour...

, after the Nazi takeover of Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 rendered that country an unsuitable place for their safekeeping; the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 was not considered a trustworthy alternative, owing in large part to its model of "socialist competition
Socialist competition
Socialist competition or socialist emulation was a form of competition between state enterprises and between individuals practiced in the Soviet Union and in other Eastern bloc states.- Competition vs...


The institute is one of the world's largest documentary- and research-centres for social history. It owns items relating to Wolfgang Abendroth
Wolfgang Abendroth
Wolfgang Abendroth was a socialist German jurist and political scientist. He was born in Elberfeld, now a part of Wuppertal in North Rhine-Westphalia. Abendroth was an important contributor to the constitutional foundation of postwar West Germany. He briefly held a professorship in law in East...

, Friedrich Adler, Angelica Balabanoff
Angelica Balabanoff
Angelica Balabanoff was a Jewish-Italian communist and social democratic activist.-Revolutionary activities:...

, Alexander Berkman
Alexander Berkman
Alexander Berkman was an anarchist known for his political activism and writing. He was a leading member of the anarchist movement in the early 20th century....

, Christiaan Cornelissen
Christiaan Cornelissen
Christiaan Gerardus Cornelissen was a Dutch syndicalist writer, economist, and trade unionist.Cornelissen was the second of five children of Johannes Cornelissen, carpenter in Den Bosch, Noord Brabant, and Mechelina van Wijk. He became a primary school teacher in Middelburg, Zeeland...

, Emma Goldman
Emma Goldman
Emma Goldman was an anarchist known for her political activism, writing and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century....

, Albert Grzesinski
Albert Grzesinski
Albert Carl Grzesinski was a German SPD politician and Minister of the Interior of Prussia from 1926 to 1930. Grzesinski was born the illegitimate son of a maid in Berlin and grew up with grandparents...

, Wolfgang Harich
Wolfgang Harich
Wolfgang Harich was a philosopher and journalist in East Germany.A deserter from the German army in World War II and a member of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, Harich became a professor of philosophy at Humboldt University in 1949...

, Karl Kautsky
Karl Kautsky
Karl Johann Kautsky was a Czech-German philosopher, journalist, and Marxist theoretician. Kautsky was recognized as among the most authoritative promulgators of Orthodox Marxism after the death of Friedrich Engels in 1895 until the coming of World War I in 1914 and was called by some the "Pope of...

, Arthur Lehning
Arthur Lehning
Paul Arthur Müller-Lehning was a Dutch author, historian and anarchist.Arthur Lehning wrote noted French translations of Mikhail Bakunin. In 1992 he won the Gouden Ganzenveer, and in 1999 the P. C. Hooft Award...

, Max Nettlau
Max Nettlau
Max Heinrich Hermann Reinhardt Nettlau was a German anarchist and historian. Although born in Neuwaldegg and raised in Vienna he retained his Prussian nationality throughout his life. A student of the Welsh language he spent time in London where he joined the Socialist League where he met...

, Augustin Souchy
Augustin Souchy
Augustin Souchy was a German anarchist, antimilitarist, and journalist.- First World War :At the outbreak of the First World War he moved in Austria. From there he was deported to and forced to wear a sign around his neck that read "Beware: Anarchist!", which later became the title of his...

, Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

 (six running metres of material) and Georg von Vollmar
Georg von Vollmar
Georg Heinrich von Vollmar was a democratic socialist politician from Bavaria.He was born in Munich, and educated in a school attached to a Benedictine monastery at Augsburg, and in 1865 entered the Bavarian army as a lieutenant in a cavalry regiment. He served in the campaign of 1866, and then...

, as well as the archives of Russia's Socialist-Revolutionary Party
Socialist-Revolutionary Party
thumb|right|200px|Socialist-Revolutionary election poster, 1917. The caption in red reads "партия соц-рев" , short for Party of the Socialist Revolutionaries...

 (1834–1934). Items belonging to anarchist
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

 and Trotskyist
Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Trotsky considered himself an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik-Leninist, arguing for the establishment of a vanguard party of the working-class...

 fighters in the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

 are also numerous. Furthermore, the archive of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions
The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions was an international trade union. It came into being on 7 December 1949 following a split within the World Federation of Trade Unions , and was dissolved on 31 October 2006 when it merged with the World Confederation of Labour to form the...

 (214 running metres of material) is located at the IISG.


The IISG currently publishes, among others, the journals International Review of Social History
International Review of Social History
The International Review of Social History is a scholarly journal founded, in its current format, in 1955, by the International Institute of Social History. The IRSH publishes academic articles that focus on research into social and labor history from a transnational perspective, accepting...

(in co-operation with Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. Granted letters patent by Henry VIII in 1534, it is the world's oldest publishing house, and the second largest university press in the world...

), Social'naja istorija. Ezhegodnik, Tijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis and Jaarboek voor Vrouwengeschiedenis.

External links