The Verein für Geschichte der Arbeiterbewegung (VGA) was founded in 1959 with a double intention. On the one hand, an institution was needed to establish the historical identity of the Austrian workers' movement - all the more so since in Austria, in contrast to Anglo-American tradition, the history of workers was largely neglected by the official academic historiography. The other was to set up an institutional platform for archival holdings that were scattered across Europe before the Second World War and during the war and were now to be brought back to Austria. A growing gender consciousness has led the VGA to change its name to Verein für Geschichte der Arbeiterinnenbewegung in 2014.
The VGA as an archive, library and research institute sees itself as an historical and cultural institution with an international focus. It preserves, supervises and secures the intellectual heritage of the Austrian workers' movement in its international context, initiates scientific research, supports projects of popular education, media productions and documentations and supports students and scientists with their research.
As a special area of the Vienna City and State Archives, VGA sees itself as a modern scientific institution that combines its archival and library activities with project-led research and user-oriented service.
[last updated 10 July 2020]