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. Several classics among the archives reflect the historical impact of German socialist theorists far beyond national borders. The collections include papers of political leaders and theorists, organizational records, printed materials such as periodicals, posters, and brochures from the social movement, as well as photographs and audio materials.
The IISH reference library aims to provide a comprehensive variety of perspectives on the history of Germany and Central Europe since the early modern period.
Special library collections included in the IISH library have widened its scope considerably. These collections include the autonomous movement, alternative economy, ecology, the women's movement, the gay rights movement, as well as the extreme right in modern Germany.
All collections and collection items are retrievable via the IISH catalogue. The Institute is digitizing its leading archives and collections. The archives of Karl Kautsky, Rudolf Breitscheid and many others are now fully available to view via the Institute’s catalogue.