IISH has developed a special interest in the labour history of India. In recent years it has organised a workshop on the theme, supported the establishment of the Labour History Association in India (LHIA) and begun comparative research on labour relations in brick-fields in India and Western Europa. IISH is also building up its library and archival collections in this field. 

Another development is the creation at IISH of collections on the history of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) or CPI (M-L), the China-oriented party whose members became known as 'Naxalites' from the late 1960s. In addition to a growing collection of periodicals, books, pamphlets, leaflets, posters, photographs and objects, the Institute has made lengthy video interviews with supporters and leaders of the CPI(M-L) in different parts of India about the history of the movement and their roles in it. The IISH video history project is not restricted to the CPI(M-L) but includes a growing number of other prominent political activists.

Other acquisitions:
- Shri Bangeswar Roy (1911-2000)
A small collection of documents from the Indian revolutionary and former Andaman political prisoner Shri Bangeswar Roy. Included are his passport, letters, poetry, and correspondence on the 'Ex-Andaman Political Prisoner's Fraternity Circle' which he helped found (1967).

In India one of our partners is the Centre for the Studies of Social Sciences