Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations


IISH Research focuses on the transnational and transcontinental study of labour, labour relations and workers' social movements in the broadest sense of the word. 
Its Global Labour History Programme concerns the history of all those people who through their work have built our modern world - not only wage labourers, but also chattel slaves, sharecroppers, housewives, the self-employed, and many other groups. It focuses on the labour relations of these people, as individuals but also as members of households, networks and other contexts. Global Labour History covers the last five centuries and, in principle, all continents. It compares developments in several parts of the world and attempts to reveal intercontinental connections and interactions.

For more information see the position paper by Marcel van der Linden Globalizing Labour Historiography: The IISH Approach and the paper by Jan Luiten van Zanden On global economic history; a personal view on an agenda for future research.

For queries:

Research projects

Datahubs and Region Desks



The International Review of Social History, and books, journals, online publications published on behalf of the IISH. See also the publications by IISH research staff

Conferences, Workshops

International networks