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


  • Number: 225.192 photos, 170.498 negatives and slides, 499 albums (as of 1.1.2003)
  • Format: Photos, halftone photos, slides, negatives, photo albums
  • Access: Ca. 102.000 photos are accessible through the catalogue. Search for 'photo' plus artist, organisation, person, or subject.
  • Consultation: In general original photos are not available for exhibitions. Original photos can be consulted in the reading room by previous arrangement.
  • Reproductions: High resolution scans can be ordered - see rates.

Photos date mainly from the second half of the 19th century until today. They vary greatly in subject and country of origin.

Some important collections

The Netherlands, Political parties and organisations:
Socialist (RSP, RSAP, PSP), anarchist (Provo, Kabouter), social-democratic (SDAP, PvdA, AJC) and communist (CPH/CPN) organisations.
Portraits and biographical material of leaders, such as Domela Nieuwenhuis, Troelstra, Vorrink, Den Uyl.

The Netherlands, Labour Unions:
Many neutral, Roman Catholic and Protestant unions are represented.
Strikes, campaigns, and demonstrations on employment, shut downs (Ford, Demka, ADM, NDSM); working conditions; terms of employment; labour and the production process in different branches of industry; women's labour; children's labour.

The Netherlands, Various campaigns, subjects:
Campaigns and demonstrations on housing and squatter's movement (from coll. Staatsarchief); women's movement; racism, discrimination, and migrants (Historical Image Archive on Migrants); education and universities; temperance; peace movement and anti-militarism; campaigns on health care; environment; traffic and other similar subjects.
Campaigns on international solidarity (Southern Africa, Vietnam).

The Netherlands, Photographers, press collections:
Many photos from the following photographers and photo press agencies: Paul Babeliowsky, Wim Dussel, Kors van Bennekom (CPN), Cor Jaring (Provo), Dolf Kruger (CPN), José Melo, Michel Pellanders (labour, shut-down of Ford), Fernando Pereira, Han Singels, Ton Sonneveldt (PvdA), Eva Strausz, Polygoon, Vereenigde Fotobureaux, Vogt & Peets, Hannes Wallrafen, Koen Wessing, Algemeen Hollands Fotopersbureau/Ben van Meerendonk (ca. 75.000 negatives), archive Joh. de Haas (trade unions 1945-1980, labour, ca. 60.000 negatives).
Main press photo archives: De Nieuwe Linie, De Rode Tribune, Het Vrije Volk (ca. 70.000 photos), De Waarheid (ca. 42.500 photos).

Other countries

European 19th and early 20th century anarchist and socialist movements; European social democracy in the interwar (many photos from pre-1933 Germany from SPD archive).
Trade unions, communes, colonies, model factories and cooperatives in West-Europe and the USA (from collection Prudhommeaux); campaigns and demonstrations on working conditions; terms of employment; labour and the production process in different branches of industry; women's labour; children's labour; peace movement; third-world movement and revolutions. Portraits and biographical material of socialist, anarchist, social-democratic and communist leaders, such as Marx, Engels, Kautsky, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Liebknecht, Luxemburg, and others.

By country:
Bolivia: collection Werkgroep Bolivia.
China: collection People's Movement, Spring 1989.
Czechoslovakia: Deutsche SDAP Westböhmens before 1933, 'velvet revolution' 1989.
England: women's movement first quarter of the 20th century, such as National Women's Social and Political Union, East London Federation of Suffragettes.
France: the Paris Commune 1870, portraits of Communards by E. Appert, Neo-Malthusianism (archive Humbert), demonstrations Rassemblement Universel de la Paix in the 1930s.
Indonesia: collection Djambatan.
Poland: Solidarnosc.
Portugal: revolution 1974-1975, agrarian reforms.
Spain: civil war 1936-1938, very extensive photo archive of the CNT.
Turkey: TKP etc.
USSR: official parades, building up of industry and the collectivisation of the agriculture in the 1920s and 1930s, labour schools ca. 1921, Partija Socialistov-Revoljucionerov, Zionistische Sozialistische Partei, exiles before 1917.

International organisations:
Internationals: Second International, congresses, and meetings, including London 1896, Paris 1900, Amsterdam 1904, Stuttgart 1907. Labour and Socialist International, Socialist International. Third and Fourth International.
Trade union movement: International Federation of (Free) Trade Unions, PTTI; International Union of Students, IMF.
Peace movement: including War Resisters International, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.
Environment movement: Greenpeace photoarchive.