History of the International Institute of Social History

The International Institute of Social History (IISH) was officially established on 25 November 1935, but its history goes back to the 1920s.

In 1914, Nicolaas W. Posthumus (1880-1960), one of the pioneers of modern economic history in the Netherlands, set up the Netherlands Economic History Archive (NEHA), the first in a series of scholarly institutions that 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 organizations in Dutch labour movement.

Why is the manuscript of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital, the chef d’oeuvre of one of the most widely known Germans ever, located in Amsterdam?  

  • You will find the answer appears in text Working for Labour. Three quarters of a century of collecting at the IISH.

That text is taken from the exhibition catalogue Rebels with a Cause (by Jaap Kloosterman and Jan Lucassen, 2010).