The IISH contributes to the sustainable preservation and accessibility of information from a wide range of social and political groups and organisations and the people active in them. We do this by taking custody of materials as part of the collection, but also by advising and sharing our knowledge.
The IISH preserves and collects materials on labour, social movements and socio-economic developments. The Netherlands is an important area for us and we are also active with regard to international organisations and movements and a number of countries and regions outside Europe. We deal with materials from private organisations and individuals, not with materials originating from the government.
Since its establishment, the IISH has built up a large and broad collection, representing a multitude of subjects and countries or regions. It is impossible to remain active in all these areas. We focus increasingly on unique or rare material, not on material that is already accessible elsewhere, nor on material that can be preserved and made accessible just as well or better elsewhere, for instance in the country it originated from.
In terms of types of material, we are interested in archives, publications, and image and sound materials, and also, increasingly, in digital sources, both digital born and digitised.