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Welcome to CEGESOMA/State Archives of Belgium

CEGESOMA, Centre for Historical Research and Documentation on War and Society, is the Belgian centre of excellence for the history of 20th century conflicts. It carries out research, organises public events and holds document collections. It is since 1 January 2016 the fourth Operational Directory of the State Archives. It is a platform for academic and public activities in Belgium and abroad, in particular with regard to the two World Wars.


BELGIUM WWII – A virtual platform on the Second World War

 At a time when reliable information on sensitive subjects seems more important than ever, CegeSoma is developing a virtual platform on Belgium and its inhabitants during the Second World War. The website Belgium WWII will be launched at the end of September 2017.

We offer a glimpse of the first themes. 
Read more...

READING ROOM - Exceptional closure on Wednesday 13 September & Wednesday 27 September

1936 - © CegeSoma
1936 - © CegeSoma
The reading room will be closed exceptionally on Wednesday 13 September & Wednesday 27 September because of two press conferences on these days (the first about the booklaunch of Papy était-il un nazi ? / Was Opa een nazi ?; the second about the launch of the virtual platform BELGIUM WWII).

International colloquium “In the Heart of the Great War – Au Coeur de la Grande Guerre”

From 26 to 28 October, the brand new Mons Memorial Museum will host the international colloquium “In the Heart of the Great War – Au Coeur de la Grande Guerre ”, organized in cooperation with CegeSoma. The colloquium focuses on the interaction between citizens and the military during the First World War. Read more...

RESEARCH - A festive presentation of ten years of research on justice

 On Friday the 22nd of September, the Interuniversity Attraction Pool (IAP) Justice & Populations will present the final results of ten years of research on the history of the Belgian judiciary and justice system in the Palace of Academies in Brussels (by invitation only). The CegeSoma is an active member of this IAP and has facilitated several projects, including Jan Julia Zurné's doctoral and postdoctoral research and the justice-themed branch of the virtual platform BELGIUM WWII, which will be online as from September the 28th.

EXHIBITION - Brussels, welcoming city?

 Starting October 13, the Jewish Museum of Belgium will host the exhibition 'Brussels: welcoming city?'. Co-organised by the Jewish Museum and the Belgian State Archives, this exhibition recalls nearly two centuries (from 1830 until today) of migration history, focusing on the life stories of newcomers who either passed through the Belgian capital, or settled there forever. The historical narrative is complemented by a presentation of recent work by immigrant artists, devoted to the cultural diversity of present-day Brussels.   

CONFERENCES - Public and Applied History on the Battlefield of Europe

 The first conference of the Jean Monnet network Applied Contemporary European History was held in November 2016. The network's scope is to deal with difficult or controversial issues of European history such as wars or experiences of violence. The objective is to contribute to the construction of a shared European history.
Conferences will be organized in the course of 2017-2019. The first will be held in Jena from 7 to 9 November 2017. More info.

EXHIBITION – Exile in Belgium, of Past and Present

 On the occasion of World Refugee Day on 20 June, Katharina Austilat, a German ASF volunteer at CegeSoma has presented the result of her research on the experiences of refugees of past and present with 11 other volunteers. The young volunteers have presented these trajectories  in an exhibition organized by the Jewish Museum of Belgium. Visitors were introduced to the intimate circumstances of the refugees and were able to discover the experience of their flight via a short film.

NEW PUBLICATION on Human Rights between 1914 and 1940

 In May 2017, Laurence Petrone published her book (in Dutch) 'Democratie in Crisis. Een anatomie van de buitengerechtelijke vrijheidsberoving in West-Europa (1914-1940)'.The book compares Belgium, France and the Netherlands and analyses how states can drift towards non-democratic, repressive measures under pressure of crisis and war.



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