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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.


1918-2018. Four Years of War. Hundred Years of Impact

November 1918. Finally, the guns fell silent. Yet, it was not possible to close the chapter. The world as we knew it had disappeared for good.

A new fragile world was beginning, still to be invented. It was the beginning of ”the short 20th century” as Eric Hobsbawm so eloquently put it, a phrase now appropriated by many historians.


To illustrate this complex period, the Vif/L'Express has published a special issue, aimed at a wide audience, which has been coordinated by Chantal Kesteloot and Laurence van Ypersele. Read more...

Warfare and Welfare: on the Connection between Wars and the Development of the Welfare State.

 Wars are moments of acceleration in the development of social policy.

After the Second World War in Belgium, the welfare state is directly associated with the Social Pact of April 1944.

In a new book, the connection between wars and the development of the welfare state ('the warfare-welfare nexus') for a number of countries in and outside Europe is the central theme. Read more...

New call to families in the context of the Transmemo project

 The Transmemo project is a federal and interdisciplinary research project on family memory of the resistance and the collaboration in Belgium during the Second World War.

CegeSoma participates in this project in partnership with a team of historians of Ghent University and a team of social and cognitive psychologists of the UCL (Université catholique de Louvain).

The project was launched in October 2017 and dozens of Dutch- and French-speaking families have already been interviewed. Read more...

‘Hendrik de Man: headstrong, fiendish and dreaming’ : Author Jan Willem Stutje talks to Rudi Van Doorslaer about his new biography.

 The 'Friends of CegeSoma (State Archives)' and the Masereelfonds (co-organisator) have the pleasure of inviting you to the afternoon conference where Jan Willem Stutje will talk to Rudi Van Doorslaer about his recently published biography on Hendrik de Man. Read more...

Brussels, November 1918. From War to Peace?

 On 26 September, the exhibition 'Brussels, November 1918' will open in the BELvue Museum, an initiative of CegeSoma/State Archives.

The exhibition wants to evoke the last months of the war and the first months of peace in the city of Brussels.

In the past years, the occupation years were the core of the multiple commemorative events. Now it is time to focus on the transition from war to peace. Read more...

Belgium WWII, the story continues…

 Almost one year ago, on 27 September 2017, we launched the website “Belgium WWII”. The aim was to make the works and research of the most renowned experts accessible to the general public in a clear and concise manner. The purpose was not to propose an official version of history, but to provide information with a quality label substantiated by the academic credit of the Study Centre War and Society and the thorough evaluation of the texts. Read more...

‘Grenzeloos verzet’ (Boundless Resistance), a unique case study on the cross-border resistance during the Second World War

 On 16 October 2018, Paul De Jongh, who is an associated researcher of CegeSoma, will present his book 'Grenzeloos verzet. Over spionerende monniken, ontsnappingslijnen en het Hannibalspiel, 1940-1943', Turnhout, Brepols, 2018, 344 p.


March 1943. The German secret police surrounded the abbey of Val-Dieu and two of its monks were arrested for participating  in resistance activities: H. Jacobs of Antwerp and E. Muhren of Bergen op Zoom.


A short time later, 80 arrests were made in Belgium and in the Netherlands. Read more...

Results of the conference War and Fatherland are published

 On 14-15 October 2015, CegeSoma with all Belgian universities organizes the international conference 'War and Fatherland'. Almost three years later, the results are published in the edited volume 'Nations, Identities and the First World War'.

The book is edited by Nico Wouters (CegeSoma) and Laurence van Ypersele (Université Catholique de Louvain), has fifteen chapters and was published by Bloomsbury. Read more...

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