Nicolaas Wilhelmus Posthumus

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Nicolaas Wilhelmus Posthumus
N. W. Posthumus
Born (1880-02-26)February 26, 1880
Died April 18, 1960(1960-04-18) (aged 80)
Nationality Dutch
Field Economic History

Nicolaas Wilhelmus Posthumus or N.W. Posthumus (February 26, 1880 in Amsterdam – April 18, 1960 in Bussum) was a Dutch economic historian and political scientist. In 1915, he founded and published the Economisch-Historisch Jaarboek—a yearly collection of primary source documents and empirical analysis of Dutch merchant records.[1] Following the rise of the Nazi party in Germany, Posthumus founded the International Institute of Social History in 1935 as a place to retain socialist documents and histories safe from the Nazi regime and other governments which might exert control over them.[2] When Germany invaded the Netherlands the activities of the institute were disrupted. He was dismissed in 1942 by the government of the occupied Netherlands and returned to his post only following the war. During the war he managed to publish Inquiry into the History of Prices in Holland. Vol. i, an exhaustive empirical study of market prices and rates of exchange in Amsterdam from the 16th century until the First World War.[3] The work was favorably received and remains his most widely cited to date.[4]

After the war he wrote a history of the German occupation of the Netherlands entitled The Netherlands During German Occupation.[5] He worked with various institutes, including the Dutch Institute for War Documentation and held a full professorship in Economic and Social Sciences at the University of Amsterdam until 1949, when he resigned to head the Brill publishing house.[1] The N.W. Posthumus Instituut, a graduate research facility in economics at the University of Groningen, was founded in 1988[6] in his honor.[7]

In 1929 Posthumus became member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was forced to resign in 1942. In 1945 he was readmitted as member.[8]


  1. ^ a b "N.W. Posthumus". About the Institute. International Institute of Social History. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 
  2. ^ "International Institute of Social History:Some notes about IISH's history". Features about selective archives and their Trotskyana collections. TrotskyanaNet. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 
  3. ^ Clark, G. N. (July 1948). "Reviewed work(s): Inquiry into the History of Prices in Holland. Vol. i, Wholesale Prices at the Exchange of Amsterdam, 1585–1914, Rates of Exchange at Amsterdam, 1609–1914 by N. W. Posthumus". The English Historical Review. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 63 (248): 379–381. ISSN 0013-8266. JSTOR 555355. 
  4. ^ Hamilton, Earl J. (May 1946). "Reviewed work(s): Nederlandsche Prijsgeschiedenis, Deel I: Goederenprijzen of de Beurs van Amsterdam, 1585–1914; Wisselkoersen te Amsterdam, 1609–1914. by N. W. Posthumus". The Journal of Economic History. Cambridge University Press. 6 (1): 73–79. ISSN 0022-0507. JSTOR 2112997. 
  5. ^ Feldman, Herman (1946). "Review: The Netherlands during German Occupation". Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. American Academy of Political & Social Science. 245 (1): 214. ISSN 0002-7162. OCLC 50544474. 
  6. ^ "Annual Report 2005 N.W. Posthumus Instituut" (PDF). N.W. Posthumus Instituut (NWP). 2005. p. 7. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  7. ^ "Mission and Goals". N.W. Posthumus Instituut. University of Groningen. February 13, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 
  8. ^ "Nicolaas Wilhelmus Posthumus (1880 - 1960)". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 

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