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Born in Amsterdam in 1948. Came to IISH in 1969 to work on the Archives Bakounine, an edition of the collected works of the Russian anarchist. Head librarian in 1985 and deputy director in 1987, he became the Institute's director in 1993.
In 2008 he stepped down to work on a project on the historical background of the Institute's collections, and a study of secret societies. He retired in July 2013, but continues as a senior policy adviser and honorary fellow.
He edited works of Mikhail Bakunin, Anselme Bellegarrigue, Carl von Clausewitz, Rosa Luxemburg, Max Nettlau, Anton Pannekoek, and Aleksandr Shapiro, among others, and translated works of Bakunin and Guy Debord.