IISH Annual Report 2020
The IISH 2020 annual report.
In many respects 2020 was a strange and unsettling year. In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak Henk Wals stepped down as director of the Institute after a long and successful career and handed over to Leo Lucassen on 1 April, with Karin Hofmeester accepting the position of Director of Research. The Institute was already closed by then and remained so for large parts of the year. In that same month our head of communication, Machteld Maris, died after a brief illness, leaving behind her wife and two daughters. Her sudden death came as a great shock to all of us.
During those same months COVID-19 forced us to postpone our biannual European Social Science History Conference that had been scheduled to take place in Leiden in March.
Finally, in 2020 the Black Lives Matter movement was an alert to several large Dutch banks and insurance companies of the need to examine their history and that of their predecessors with respect to slavery-related activities. As one of the research centres tasked with this mission, the IISH conducted a number of research projects on this topic