History of the IISH

Although the IISH was officially founded on 25 November 1935, its history begins in the decade before, in the person of Nicolaas Wilhelmus Posthumus. During World War II, the institute's existence was seriously threatened, but after a period of recovery, it flourished again in the 1960s and 1970s. In addition to the earliest collections, such as the Marx-Engels archive, the Max Nettlau collection, and the archives of the political and trade union branches of the international and national labour movement, the IISH now began to house a broader palette of social movements. In addition, starting in the late 1980s, a research department was developed, with an international comparative perspective on the history of labour and labour relations. Today, the IISH collaborates with research institutes around the world on the theme of global labour history.