International Sociological Association Archives

Biographical / Historical Note

Established in 1949 in Oslo under the auspices of the UNESCO; the ISA is a non-political organization with a scientific purpose; its aims are to promote sociological research, to develop personal contacts among the sociologists of all countries and to ensure the exchange of sociological information; it consists of a Council, a Research Council, an Executive Committee, organizational committees and research committees (7 to 50 according to the years) on a wide variety of sociological topics; organizes World Congress of Sociology every three years till 1962, since 1962 every four years; first president was Louis Wirth; periodicals: Current Sociology/Sociologie Contemporaine, International Sociology, World Congresses Transactions, Sage Studies in International Sociology.


There were three different lists of the archives; one concerned the first deposit in 1986, the second one concerned the gift from Pierre de Bie in 1996 and the last one concerned the accruals from 1999, 2000 and 2001; this subdivision no longer exists; inv. no. 526-657 contains papers received from Felix Geyer in 2001; the most part of the papers in inv. no. 759-772 are received from Else Øyen in 2000; newsletters of the ISA and books are deposited at the library; photographs and posters found in inv. no. 121, 147, 257, 345, 347, 557, 704 and 796 have been transferred to the audiovisual section of the IISH; after the arrangement, the size of the archives is 19.30 m., with the accruals received afterwards, the size is now (2012) 21.17 m.


Minutes of meetings, correspondence and lists of members of the ISA Council, Research Council and Executive Committee 1956-1994; documents concerning World Congresses of Sociology including correspondence, preparatory papers, lists of the participants, summaries of the papers presented, papers presented and final reports 1950-1998; correspondence with organizational and individual members, correspondence with UNESCO, United Nations, European authorities, International Institute of Sociology and World Health Organization 1938-1995; reports on activities of the ISA 1950-1989; reports and minutes of the Constituent Congress in Oslo 1949; statutes 1949-1986; financial reports 1951-1975; documents concerning housing 1972-1977, members including correspondence, statistics, membership files and lists of individual and collective members 1950-1994, projects, conferences and seminars in which ISA was involved 1960-1992, the Publication Committee 1966-1994, the Membership and Finance Committee 1967-1993 and the Research Committees 1965-1998; documentation concerning ISA 1968-1995.

Correspondence by Margaret S. Archer (University of Warwick), member of the editorial board of Current Sociology . The Journal of the International Sociological Association 1973-1986; correspondence with publishers Mouton and SAGE 1971-1989.

Processing Information

Inventory made by Hélène Saudrais in 2005, of the first accrual 2010 by Bouwe Hijma in 2010 and of the second and third accrual of 2010 by Anna Pascual Vall in 2011, accruals 2011 and 2013 by Bouwe Hijma