Based at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, the Institute for Social Movements is a central research unit specialised in research and teaching on the history of social movements, broadly conceived, the history of deindustrialization and industrial heritage, and the history of historiography and historical theory. It was initially founded in the early 1970s as the “Institute for Research on the History of the German Labour Movement”, and became the “Institute for the History of the European Labour Movement” in 1985. In order to understand the development and functions of modern democratic societies more comprehensively, the Institute was renamed in 1999 when the library, archive, and research unit moved into its own dedicated building which also houses the Foundation of the History of the Ruhr, a public-private partnership dedicated to research on the social history of the Ruhr region. The Institute for Social Movements and the Foundation History of the Ruhr are organizations directed by the Chair for Social History at Ruhr-Universität Bochum.