Onderzoekt en verzamelt de geschiedenis van werk, werkenden en arbeidsverhoudingen wereldwijd

Working on Labor

This collection of seventeen essays takes its inspiration from the scholarly achievements of the Dutch historian Jan Lucassen. They reflect a central theme in his research: the history of labor.
The essays deal with five major themes: the production of specific commodities or services (diamonds, indigo, cigarettes, mail delivery by road runners); occupational groups (informal street vendors, prostitutes, soldiers, white-collar workers in the Dutch East India Company, VOC); geographical and social mobility (career opportunities on non-Dutch officers in the VOC, immigration into early-modern Holland; the influence of migrants on labor productivity; income differentials as migration incentives); contexts of labor relations (late medieval labor laws, subsistence labor and female paid labor, Russian peasant-migrant laborers, diverging political trajectories of cane-sugar industries); and the origins of labor-history libraries and archives.

Table of contents

Marcel van der Linden and Leo Lucassen


Working for Diamonds from the 16th to the 20th Century
Karin Hofmeester

Green Plants into Blue Cakes: Working for Wages in Colonial Bengal’s Indigo Industry
Willem van Schendel

Dak Roads, Dak Runners and the Re-ordering of Communication Networks
Chitra Joshi

Changing Production Systems and Forms of Labor Control in the Javanese Cigarette Industry: 1920s-1930s
Ratna Saptari


Selling in the Shadows: Peddlers and Hawkers in Early Modern Europe
Danielle van den Heuvel

The Worst Class of Workers. Migration, Labor Relations and Living Strategies of Prostitutes around 1900
Lex Heerma van Voss

Fighting for a Living in Europe and Asia
Erik-Jan Zürcher

White Collar Workers of the VOC in Amsterdam, 1602-1795
Karel Davids


The Career Ladder to the Top of the Dutch East India Company: Could Foreigners also Become Commanders and Junior Merchants?
Jaap R. Bruijn and Femme S. Gaastra

Demographic Change and Migration Flows in Holland between 1500 and 1800
Jan Luiten van Zanden and Maarten Prak

The Economic Contribution of Labor Migrants in the European Maritime Labor Market of the Long Eighteenth Century
Jelle van Lottum

Income Differentials, Institutions, and Religion: Working in the Rhineland or Pennsylvania in the Eighteenth Century
Richard W. Unger


Labor Laws in Western Europe, 13th-16th Centuries: Patterns of Political and Socio-economic Rationality
Catharina Lis and Hugo Soly

The First “Male Breadwinner Economy”? Dutch Married Women’s and Children’s Paid and Unpaid Work in Western Europe Perspective, c. 1600-1900
Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk

Wage Labor and the Household Economy: a Russian Perspective, 1600-2000
Gijs Kessler

Cane Sugar and Unlimited Supplies of Labor in the 1930s: New Thinking and the Origin of Development Economics
Ulbe Bosma


Unwritten Autobiography: Labor History Libraries before World War I
Jaap Kloosterman

Notes on Contributors
Tabula Gratulatoria