We collect archives and data from all over the world to facilitate historical and linguistic research. Our social-economic history collection is one of the world’s largest and our unique Dutch ethnology and variation linguistics collection is part of Dutch heritage. In collection development we focus increasingly on digital archives and data. The institutes devise new techniques for enabling methodologically innovative research.
The IISH collections comprise archive, library and audio-visual material with a thematic emphasis on social and emancipatory movements. The Institute holds close to 5,000 archives, more than 1,000,000 printed volumes, and an equivalent number of audio-visual items including posters.
The Meertens Institute has acquired archives for more than 80 years. Meertens researchers have created collections over the same period. The institute currently has more than 700 collections consisting of a large (digitized) audio collection, (digital) research data, digitized material, archival collections, printed material, handwritten questionnaires and card systems, maps and photographs. The Meertens Institute also has a library with over 80,000 books and 4,000 magazine titles.