International Archives for the Women's Movement

Provenance marks related to the IAV

Since 2015, ten books and one loose bookplate from the library of the Internationaal Archief voor de Vrouwenbeweging (International Archive of the Women's Movement, IAV) have been given back to the legal successor, Atria - kennisinstituut voor emancipatie en vrouwengeschiedenis. The first restitution took place within the framework of the conference Sharing the past, debating the present, creating the future - International conference on archiving in the 21st century, which took place on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the archives in Amsterdam from December 3 - 4, 2015.

The books were all added to the holdings of the Berlin City Library via the Bergungsstelle (salvaging office), namely mission No. 18: the Library of the National Socialist Women's League.

The IAV's library in Amsterdam, which comprised some 4,500 volumes, had been looted by the German security police (Sicherheitspolizei, SiPo) on 12 July 1940 and taken to Berlin. Only a small part returned to the Netherlands in 1947. Individual volumes of this provenance that  were clearly identifiable by stamps and ex-libris were identified in 2012 when the ZLB's holdings were examined. In cooperation with the Dutch colleagues of the IAV, now known as Atria, further provenance marks such as shelf marks and book numbers could be clearly identified and thus further copies could be allocated to the original IAV library. A further examination of the books in the ZLB, which had already been identified as having been delivered by No. 18, revealed further Nazi looted objects from IAV's holdings.

In the associated report of the Bergungsstelle, there is a suggestion that part of the salvaged stock may have been restituted. The "remaining literature was divided up as usual so that the Municipal and City Library each received a share". In a note attached to the report, the books, which were described as "Dutch documents to be returned", were correctly referred to as "Bibliothek des International Archief, Frauenbewegung, Amsterdam".