The Academy Library - formerly part of the now defunct Library KNAW - contains the library collections of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences that were collected during the nineteenth century. The collection contains ca. 200,000 volumes and is accessible by the catalogue.
The IISH is the most important worldwide repository of anarchist records and papers. Indeed, a vast anarchist collection was among the first acquired when the Institute was founded in 1935, when it received the books and papers of Max Nettlau, the "Herodotus of Anarchy".
IIn 2008 the IISH acquired an extensive collection of archival materials relating to the anti-apartheid and Southern Africa solidarity groups in The Netherlands.
What Asian collections does the IISH have? A first answer to that question is provided by: The Asian Collections at the International Institute of Social History, edited by Emile Schwidder & Eef Vermeij (NEW 4th ed., 2012). This guide contains brief descriptions of all collections with a substantial Asian interest.
The French collection is among the larger national collections at the IISH. Materials date back to the emergence of the revolutionary ideology in the second half of the eighteenth century. Since the Revolution, French political and social history throughout the nineteenth century has been characterized by alternating authoritarian and enlightened regimes that resulted from the revolutionary movements.
The IISH collections on Germany and German speaking countries in Central Europe cover the period beginning with the democratic revolutionary movements and early workers' organizations around 1840 to the protest movements in the FRG during the '60s and '70s, and the civic movement in the GDR during the '80s.
International organizations figure prominently in the collections at the IISH. The rise of early workers organizations was closely linked to labour migration both within Europe and among countries in Europe and other nation states. The workers movement tried to inspire international solidarity by furthering socialism and trade unionism.
With its historic revolutions and legendary revolutionary movements, Latin America was bound to become core business for the Institute. The first great revolution of the 20th century took place in Mexico in 1910, preceding those in Russia and China. Cuba (1959) and Nicaragua (1979) have been at the centre of international debate for a considerable time.
The history of migrants and their organizations and the history of labor migration have recently become a major research theme at the IISH. Collections at the Institute, including those from long ago, offer many directions for further research, which can be found in the specific archives of migrants and their organizations.
In the Russian and Eastern Europe collections at the IISH, Russia and the former USSR are dominant. Additional collection development efforts cover most countries in Eastern Europe that became communist after 1945. The former Czechoslovakia and Poland are especially well represented and the Balkans slightly less so. Interest in the Asian part of the former Soviet Union is more recent.