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

Scientific Staff Member Collection Development


The International Institute of Social History (IISH) is an international centre for research into socioeconomic history that benefits science and society. It conducts excellent research and provides access to the most comprehensive socioeconomic historical collection in the world.

We are part of the KNAW Humanities Cluster, a cooperative alliance between three KNAW institutes. It conducts research into the humanities (history, ethnology, literature, linguistics) in which digital methods and technologies play a major role

We are currently looking for a

Scientific Staff Member Collection Development
(30.4 hours/week, 0.8 FTE)

The Collection Development Department collects archives, publications, video and audio material and digital sources pertaining to the theme of work and labour relations and broader social and socioeconomic themes and social movements. The department consists of seven motivated staff members who work together as a team and each have their own thematic or regional specialty. Our focus is on collecting unique and primary materials from both well-known and established and new organisations and organisational forms and from the persons active within them.

We are currently transitioning from the acquisition of paper sources to digital material and actively strive to enhance the (especially digital) collection development concerning transnational movements and outside western Europe. Our goal is to focus more on themes and narratives that are underrepresented in established historiography and on diversity and inclusivity, both in terms of the material we collect and the way in which we collect it.  

The position:

  • You develop and execute plans pertaining to collection development, with a particular focus on international organisations and movements.
  • You make an innovative contribution to the development of the collection policy.
  • You establish and maintain contacts with – mostly foreign – persons and organisations, including well-known organisations with which we have collaborated for years, as well as ephemeral transnational web-based networks.
  • You develop a network of contacts, correspondents and representatives.
  • You handle the reception of the material, sign agreements, record information about the collections and submit this to the processing departments.
  • You engage with researchers, users and social partners in order to bring the collection development in sync with research programmes, user requirements and social developments.
  • You contribute to the renown and social impact of the collections with presentations and texts, e.g. web, video, social media and by attending and participating in events and exhibits.
  • You are part of the Collection Development department team and perform all substantive and practical tasks that entails.

Function requirements:

  • You are knowledgeable about current global social, economic and political issues and movements.
  • You have a broad interest in the IISH’s historical collection field.
  • You possess extensive digital skills and are familiar with the use of digital/social media and the way in which social movements utilise these tools.
  • You have a knack for collecting and are unafraid to select and make choices.
  • You are sensitive in your dealings with persons and organisations with diverse natures and backgrounds.
  • You possess excellent verbal and written communication skills and can give captivating presentations.
  • You have a talent for organisation and love to lead projects.
  • You are flexible, pragmatic and tenacious.
  • You can operate both independently and as part of a team. You can make decisions on your own, but also know when it is best to confer with others.
  • You have an excellent command of English and preferably Dutch as well. On top of that, you have also mastered a different internationally important language that is relevant to the IISH.
  • You have an academic background (MA) in history or another relevant field related to the humanities or social sciences.
  • Experience and affinity with collections, heritage and information management in a library or archive context is a plus.

Salary and appointment:

The appointment at the KNAW/IISH has a duration of two years and offers the prospect of a permanent contract. The gross monthly salary lies between €2,588 and €4,757 (salary grade 10/11 of the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities) for a fulltime position, depending on your relevant professional experience and qualifications. The IISH offers attractive secondary employment conditions, including an 8.3% end-of-year bonus, 8% holiday allowance, an excellent pension scheme and six weeks of holiday per year.


Please submit your application letter and CV to, attention of Denise van der Werf (jr. P&O Advisor), before 28 October 2018. Add “Scientific Staff Member Collection Development” to the subject line. If you would like to know more about this position, you may contact Afelonne Doek, director of Collections, via, Marien van der Heijden, head of Collection Development, via or call 020-6685866. More information about the IISH is available at

We strive to have our workforce reflect the diversity of our society in terms of e.g. age, gender and cultural background. We would therefore sincerely appreciate applications from candidates who can increase the diversity of our team.

Acquisition with regards to this vacancy will not be appreciated.

Collection Development
28 October 2018