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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.

New Publications - The Mysteries of Military Courts and of Contemporary Justice


The Interuniversity Attraction Pole (IAP) 'Justice and Populations' has published no less than two new publications. The first deepens our knowledge on military justice and gives an overview of the collections for future research. The second introduces the reader to the mysteries of the judicial world on the basis of a series of keywords.


EHRI - Candidate Call

 Candidate Call for EHRI fellowships at CegeSoma (deadline: 31 March 2017)

The EHRI project (European Holocaust Research Infrastructure, of which CegeSoma is a consortium partner) wants to support and encourage Holocaust research. EHRI offers multiple fellowships to researchers so that they can undertake their research in different European scientific institutions, such as CegeSoma. If you want to apply for a fellowship, you can visit our brand new site specifically aimed at future fellows. Deadline: 31 March 2017.

Continued Holocaust Research - A necessity for Europe

 On the occasion of the commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz in the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek - former Prime Minister of Poland and former President of the European Parliament - and Christian Ehler - Member of the European Parliament since 2004 - call for an active role of national governments of all EU member states in supporting both national and international Holocaust research.

Since 2010 the EU, has supported the EHRI-project (of which CegeSoma is a consortium partner) in building a  European Holocaust Research Infrastructure.
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Publication & congress

 The Role of the Mayors during the Second World War

In his new book our colleague Nico Wouters compares the role of the mayors during the occupation of the Second World War in Belgium, the Netherlands and France (Nord and Pas-de-Calais). The publication will be presented officially in June 2017 in Canterbury during an international congress on occupations during both World Wars.

Cities at war, 1914-1918 - Wallonia and Brussels

  The authors of La Wallonie dans la Grande Guerre and Bruxelles ville occupée relate the experiences of Walloons and inhabitants of Brussels during the First World War through the medium of the image. They examine how the major challenges of this turbulent period are reflected by means of photographs, postcards or the illustrated press.

The books are for sale at CegeSoma at the price of 20 €.

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Special Issue of the JBH

 Country and Army in the Making. The Belgian Military in the Long Nineteenth Century

What is the significance of studying military history today ? And where lies the relevance for Belgium, a state that for a long time had a mandatory neutral status and had only a limited military importance ? Nel de Mûelenaere and Josephine Hoegaerts, the two young historians and guest editors of this new theme issue, show that military history can be a flourishing field of research for Belgium, with innovative and interdisciplinary methods.
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14-18 through children’s eyes


The catalogue accompanying the exhibition “War in Short Pants, 14-18” recounts the fate of children during the Great War. After a presentation of the history of childhood in 1914-1918, the book follows the traces of seven boys and girls who experienced the conflict in Belgium, Germany, Russia, the Ottoman Empire and Australia. The catalogue is for sale at the CegeSoma at the price of €13.
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Exhibition War in Short Pants, 14-18


On 14 October 2016, the exhibition War in Short Pants, 14-18 opened in Ghent. It is the fruit of a collaboration between CegeSoma and the Historische Huizen Gent and shows that the First World War was not only a matter for soldiers but also mobilised children. By means of audio guides, available in four languages, the exhibition takes us on a journey through the universe of seven boys and girls who experienced the conflict in occupied Belgium, but also in Russia, Germany, France, England, the Ottoman Empire or even in Australia.
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