The Integrated Labour History Research Programme (ILHRP) is a specialised research programme on labour history research, set up in collaboration with the Association of Indian Labour Historians (AILH), a body of professional historians and scholars interested in history of labour. The overall aim of the ILHRP is to initiate, integrate and revive historical research on labour in India and is the first of its kind in the country. The programme has three mutually reinforcing components such as digital archiving of Indian labour; writing labour history of India; and interdisciplinary research. The archive systematically collects and preserves various documents and material concerning the working class in digital form, through collaboration and networking with various stakeholders (such as trade unions, NGOs, governmental departments and business houses). Networking with similar agencies (national and international) involved in digital archiving is also a crucial aspect of the archive.
So far, the archive is the country's largest digital repository of labour documents, with more than 15 gigabytes of data on Digital Archives of Indian Labour click here for public access.
The collections for the archives are generated through commissioning and monitoring research and collection projects on prioritised areas of labour history, which involves negotiation and networking with experts and agencies, both within and outside the country. The programme also organises regular academic discussions, seminars and colloquia on the prioritised areas of labour history. The programme has so far more than 50 completed/ongoing research and collection projects. Since year 2000, the programme has published 20 working papers and organised around 90 seminars/discussions, including 12 international seminars on labour history.
Some of the major collections of the archives are: Commissions of Labour (1929-2002); Trade Union Collections (Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh and All India Trade Union Congress); SEWA; International Labour Organisation – India Office Collections 1929-1970; Collections on Ambedkar and Labour and Oral History of Labour Movement.
International Conferences on Labour History
One of the most significant contributions of the ILHRP has been the 12 major International Conferences on Labour History organised to deliberate on significant themes like Towards Global Labour History: New Comparisons’, ‘Expanding the Frontiers of Labour History’, ‘Work and Non-Work: Histories in the Long Term’, and ‘Labour History – A Return to Politics’, and ‘The Future of Work in the Mirror of the Past’. These conferences provide an important platform for historians, social scientists and scholars to deliberate upon varied dynamics of labour history, furthering the historical understanding of the conditions on labour and labouring people. Scholars from around 20 countries across the world have been participating in the conferences on Labour History.
- First International Conference on Labour History (March 16-18, 1998)
- Second International Conference on Labour History (March 16-18, 2000)
- Third International Conference on Labour History (March 14-16, 2002)
- Fourth International Conference on the theme, “Towards Global Labour History: New Comparisons” (November 10-12, 2005)
- Fifth International Conference on Labour History (November 2006)
- Sixth International Conference on Labour History (November 1-3, 2006)
- Seventh International Conference on Labour History (March 27-29, 2008)
- Eighth International Conference on Labour History on the theme, “Expanding the Frontiers of Labour History” (March 18-20, 2010)
- Ninth International Conference on Labour History on the theme, “Work and Non-work: Histories in the Long Term” (March 22-24, 2012)
- Tenth International Conference on Labour History on the theme, “A Return to Politics?” (March 22-24, 2014)
- Eleventh International Conference on Labour History on the theme, “Workers, Labour and Mediation” (March 21-23, 2016)
- Twelfth International Conference on Labour History on the theme, “The Future of Work in the Mirror of the Past” (March 26-28, 2018)
V.V. Giri National Labour Institute in collaboration with Merian International Institute of Advanced Studies: Metamorphoses of the Political (MICAS: MP), Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS), University of Göttingen, Germany and Association of Indian Labour Historians (AILH) orgainsed an “International Workshop on Chronologies of Labour: A Global Perspective” during January 22-23, 2016.
V.V. Giri National Labour Institute in collaboration with the Association of Indian Labour Historians and International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam organised the First International Conference on Global Labour History Network during March 03-04, 2017.
Joint Advisory Committee
The programme is continuously advised and monitored by a Joint Advisory Committee, which is constituted of nominees and representatives from both the Institute and the AILH. The current JAC Members of the Programme are: