International Association of Labour History Institutions


Aims | Membership | Activities | Secretary and Coordination Committee | IALHI Foundation

For a brief overview of IALHI's aims and activities, check our promotional flyer!


The International Association of Labour History Institutions (IALHI) brings together archives, libraries, document centres, museums and research institutions specializing in the history and theory of the labour movement from all over the world. It was founded in 1970 by the Arbetarrörelsens Arkiv (Stockholm), the Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund (Düsseldorf), the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (Bonn), the Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis (Amsterdam), the Labour Party (London), the Schweizerisches Sozialarchiv (Zürich) and the Trades Union Congress (London), among others.

IALHI aims at:

  • Fostering closer co-operation between its members.
  • Interlending wherever possible.
  • Encouraging the interchange of publications and duplicates.
  • Initiating and sponsoring publications such as bibliographies, holding lists and surveys falling within its field of interest.

go to IALHI's constitution »


IALHI's members include:

  • Archives and libraries of trade union federations and major trade unions from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom; and of related international bodies like the European Trade Union Institute.
  • Archives and libraries of socialist and communist parties from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
  • Major document and research centres like the Amsab-ISG (Ghent), the Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli (Milan), the Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis (Amsterdam), the Schweizerisches Sozialarchiv (Zürich) etc.
  • Museums of labour and working class life like the People's History Museum (Manchester), the Arbejdermuseet (Copenhagen), the Työväenmuseo Werstas (Tampere) etc.
  • Major university institutions like the Bibliothèque de Documentation internationale contemporaine (Nanterre), the Labadie Collection (Ann Arbor, MI), the Modern Records Centre (Coventry), the Ohara Institute for Social Research (Tokyo) etc.
  • Private document centres, museums, labour history societies etc from Australia to Argentina.

Enquiries about, and applications for membership can be sent by post (see our contact information) or email (secretary@ialhi.org). The annual membership fee is € 112.


  • Annual conferences provide an occasion for meeting, discussion, exchange of experience, multilateral cooperation etc. Conferences were held in London (1970), Stockholm (1971), Zürich (1972), Bonn (1973), Oslo (1974), Amsterdam (1975), Milan (1976), Vienna (1977), Paris (1978), Bochum (1979), Stockholm (1980), Barcelona (1981), London (1982), Florence (1983), Madrid (1984), Brussels/Liège/Ghent (1985), Paris (1986), Bonn (1987), Zürich (1988), Amsterdam (1989), Helsinki (1990), Linz (1991), Prague (1992), Copenhagen (1993), Manchester (1994), Moscow (1995), Athens (1996), Silver Spring, MD (1997), Milan (1998), Amsterdam (1999), Oslo (2000), Tampere (2001), Stockholm (2002), Dublin (2003), Paris/Nanterre/Roubaix (2004), Ghent (2005), Zürich (2006), Rome (2007), Johannesburg (2008), Barcelona (2009), Amsterdam (2010), Bonn (2011), Lisboa (2012), Budapest (2013), New York (2014) and Edinburgh (2015). The next conferences will be held in Helsinki, Finland (2016) and Ghent/Brussels, Belgium (2017).
  • A News Service on the Web announces recent accessions, new publications, forthcoming exhibitions, current research programs etc.
  • A travel fund enables members lacking regular funding channels to attend conferences.
  • IALHI organizes joint projects, notably in the fields of preservation and automation.
  • A group of members provide a number of services, among them listings of the tables of contents of major labour history journals.
  • On the web domain www.socialhistoryportal.org digital resources from IALHI members and joint projects are published. The project HOPE - Heritage of the People's Europe (2010-2013) has been the focus of these activities.

Secretary and Coordination Committee

At the September 2013 conference, Geert Van Goethem (Amsab-ISG, Gent) has been elected as secretary for a period of five years.

The Coordination Committee consists of Alfredo Caldeira (Fundação Mário Soares, Lisboa), David Bidussa (Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, Milano), Marien van der Heijden (treasurer; IISH, Amsterdam), Gabriella Ivacs (OSA Archivum, Budapest), Anja Kruke (Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Bonn), Andrew H. Lee (NYU, New York), Petri Tanskanen (Työväen Arkisto, Helsinki), Richard Temple (Senate House Library, London), Franck Veyron (BDIC, Nanterre). The Committee has been elected at the September 2011 conference, for a period of five years.


IALHI Foundation

On 3 January 2012, a foundation was established to support and facilitate the realization of the objectives of IALHI: the "IALHI Foundation".