This article appraises the field of labour history in its anniversary year and notes that it was one of the earliest specialities to challenge the divisions of the discipline that had reigned supreme since academic History first emerged as a recognized subject in the late nineteenth
century. At a time when there was a growing desire to find ways of studying 'social' history, labour history set out to show how this could be done, and to provide a concrete series of concepts, issues, and topics that historians could investigate. It asks whether this well-earned reputation
for conceptual innovation and debate has been lost, and concludes that the field is unlikely to be re-energized unless labour historians look beyond national histories to embrace the shift towards transnationalism, as epitomised in the work of Marcel van der Linden.