Social History Collections

This is a website of the International Association of Labour History Institutions (IALHI).
IALHI brings together archives, libraries, document centres, museums and research institutions specializing in the heritage, history and theory of labour and social movements from all over the world.

IALHI on Twitter



Social History Collections

The Social History Portal is a common gateway to a number of collections of archives, libraries and documentation centres. You can search and browse collections on social history and the history of the labour movement from the late 18th to the beginning of the 21st century. You have access to more than 2 million objects. From the documents found here, you can easily go to the institution that holds the collection and continue your search there.


About the collections

Here you can find more than 140 collections comprising more than 2 million records among which 900,000 digitised objects (archives, books, brochures, leaflets, photographs, posters, prints, cartoons, sound, films and videos). Most collections are European. Together, they document more than 200 years of history: from the French Revolution and the beginnings of democracy and the labour movement in Europe, to the fall of the Eastern Bloc and the rise of new networked social movements.

The collections are held by 21 specialized archives and libraries in 13 different European countries. They are geographically scattered, but thematically related, or even complimentary, as the heritage of social and labour movements has often been dispersed by political circumstances.

The institutions presenting their collections here are cooperating within the International Association of Labour History Institutions (IALHI). More collections will be added, and more institutions are invited to participate. If you would like to participate, contact us at

The digital collections are also available in Europeana.