International Institute for Social History

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International Institute for Social History

The International Institute of Social History ( IISG ; English International Institute of Social History (IISH); Dutch Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis ) is a historical research institute in Amsterdam ( North Holland ). It was founded in 1935 by Nicolaas Posthumus and is part of the “Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences” (KNAW). The institute has been headed by General Director Henk Wals since November 2012.

History and tasks

It was crucial that the documents of the social movements, especially those of the labor movement , should be given a safe place after Germany had failed in 1933 and the Soviet Union was not considered to be trustworthy, especially with regard to alternative socialist concepts.

The institute is one of the world's largest documentation centers on social history . In addition to the most comprehensive collection of the manuscripts of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels , the IISG u. a. Estates from Albert Grzesinski , Clara Gertrud Wichmann , Willy Huhn , Karl Kautsky , Helmut Rüdiger , Christiaan Cornelissen , Gustav Mayer , Julius Motteler , Augustin Souchy , Georg von Vollmar , Friedrich Adler , Arthur Müller-Lehning , Max Nettlau , Pierre Ramus , Alexander Berkman , Emma Goldman , Angelika Balabanoff , Leon Trotsky (partial estate, 6 running meters), Wolfgang Abendroth , Heinrich Hannover , Wolfgang Harich , Kurt Steinhaus , Anton Levien Constandse , Rob Stolk as well as the party archive of the Russian Social Revolutionaries . The estates of anarchist and Trotskyist fighters in Spain are also well represented . The archive of the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (214 linear meters) is also located in the IISG.

The IISG organizes the biennial European Social Science History Conference . The institute is also a member of the International Association of Labor History Institutions and is home to the office of this umbrella organization. At the back of the IISG is the Dutch Persmuseum (press museum).

In cooperation with the IISG, the University Library of the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Persmuseum (Dutch press museum), the NIOD and the Katholiek Documentatiecentrum ("Catholic Documentation Center", KDC), a collection of journals from the period 1896 to 1949 with a total of 15,238 pages.

Known employees


The IISG publishes the International Review of Social History (in cooperation with Cambridge University Press), Social'naja istorija. Ezhegodnik , Tijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis and Jaarboek voor Vrouwengeschiedenis .


  • Annie Adama van Scheltema-Kleefstra: Herinneringen van de bibliothecaresse van het Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis . Amsterdam 1977.
    • Annie Adama van Scheltema-Kleefstra: Memories of the Librarian of the International Institute for Social History . In: Bulletin of the Institute for the History of the Labor Movement - IGA, (Ruhr University Bochum), Issue 4, 1979, pp. 7–42.
  • Dieter Läpple: International Institute for Social History Amsterdam - IISG . In: Yearbook of the Institute for Marxist Studies and Research 04/1981 . Frankfurt am Main, 1981, pp. 416-422. Digitized
  • Maria Hunink: De papieren van de revolutie. Het Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis 1935–1947 . Amsterdam 1986.
  • Götz Langkau: The Ford project of the IISG (1959-1965) . In: Contributions to Marx-Engels research. New episode 2013. Argument, Hamburg 2015, ISBN 978-3-86754-681-2 , pp. 189-209.

See also

Web links

Commons : International Institute for Social History  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 52 ° 22 ′ 8.7 ″  N , 4 ° 56 ′ 22 ″  E