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

The 'Centrale' Digitization Project

On 1 March 2012, a four-year project started to digitize some of the IISH's most famous collections, such as:

  • the historical archives of the German social-democratic movement, including the papers of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, August Bebel, Eduard Bernstein, and Wilhelm Liebknecht
  • papers and documents from and about the Commune of Paris, including the archive of Louise Michel
  • the huge collection of anarchist material of Max Nettlau, including the Michail Bakunin papers,
  • the archives and papers of several Russian, Central and Eastern European groups and persons, including the Algemeyner Yidisher Arbeyter Bund Collection
  • personal papers of Emma Goldman, Karl Kautsky and Leon Trotsky
  • the Kashnor library of  nearly 4.000 publications on English social and economic history from 1650 to 1880

The factor these collections have in common is that they were bought between 1934 and 1940 by the 'Centrale Arbeiders Verzekerings Maatschappij' (Central Workers Insurance Company) on behalf of the IISH. They are owned by the Centrale’s legal successor, the SNS REAAL insurance and banking company. Within the framework of a new loan agreement between SNS REAAL and the IISH, SNS REAAL has provided funding for conservation by means of digitization. All in all, around 168 meters of archival documents, over 4.000 photos, prints and posters, and over 4.500 printed publications will be digitized and made accessible through the IISH website and others platforms, such as Europeana.

A full list of the collections can be found at

For more information on the project, contact Marien van der Heijden (

See also: