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

Russia and Eastern Europe Collection Guide

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.

The collections fit the traditional IISH profile: history of socialism and the labour movement in the 19th and 20th centuries. Because the setting in which the social movement emerged in Russia and Eastern Europe was so specific, this collection is distinctive. The agrarian question, for example, receives consideration, as does the role of the intelligentsia and the dissidents, as well as emigration movements and compelling nationalities questions.

All collections and collection items are retrievable via the IISH catalogue. The Institute is digitizing its leading archives and collections. The archives of Boris Savinkov, Aleksandr Potresov and many others are now fully available to view via the Institute’s catalogue.

Contact: If you would like to discuss a donation or deposit, please contact Marien van der Heijden at

Archeobibliobase contains information on all archival collections in Russia and the former Soviet Union.

Video about the Russian collections and research of the International Institute of Social History