International Association of Labour History Institutions


Aims | Membership | Activities | Presidency and Board | Working Groups | IALHI Foundation


The International Association of Labour History Institutions (IALHI) aims to connect member institutions and to facilitate the exchange of expertise in order to preserve, and promote the access to, and the use of, their respective collections.

IALHI, founded in 1970, brings together archives, libraries, documentation centres, museums and research institutions specializing in the history and theory of labour and social movements from all over the world.

For a brief overview of IALHI's aims and activities, check our promotional flyer in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish/Castilian!


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 La 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.

Each member institution has one vote at the annual General Assembly.

Enquiries about, and applications for membership can be sent by post (see our contact information) or email (info [at] 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), Edinburgh (2015), Helsinki (2016), Ghent (2017), Milano (2018), and Alcalá de Henares (2019). On 2020 an online special conference took place, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 conference also took place online, organized by Schweizerisches Sozialarchiv. The next conferences will be held in Zürich (2022), Buenos Aires (2023), and Paris (2024).
  • A News Service on the Web announces recent accessions, new publications, forthcoming exhibitions, current research programs etc.
  • IALHI organizes joint projects, notably in the field improving access to collections.
  • On the web domain 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.

Presidency and Board

At the September 2018 conference, Anja Kruke (Archiv der sozialen Demokratie und Bibliothek der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Bonn), has been elected as president for a period of five years.

The Board consists of Marien van der Heijden (treasurer; IISG, Amsterdam),  Andrew H. Lee (New York University Library, New York), Massimiliano Tarantino (Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, Milano), Richard Temple (Senate House Library, London), Geert Van Goethem (secretary; Amsab-ISG, Gent), Franck Veyron (La Contemporaine, Nanterre), Rosemary Webb (Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, Sydney), Petri Tanskanen (Työväen Arkisto, Helsinki). The Board has been elected at the September 2016 conference, for a period of five years, and the 2021 conference extended its mandate for one extra year. Petri Tanskanen joined the Board on September 2020.


IALHI Working Groups

IALHI Working Group Digital Collections

In 2020, after a few preliminary meetings, a number of IALHI members decided to establish a new working group.

The IALHI Working Group Digital Collections offers knowledge exchange in the broad field of digital collections.The meetings include, for example, presentations and discussions on specific topics, such as the preservation of hard disks, the application of IIIF standards, the long term access strategies, and so on. The group meets about three to four times a year.

The working group is presently coordinated by Fabian Würtz of the Schweizerisches Sozialarchiv. It is open to all members and partners of the IALHI.

IALHI Foundation

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