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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.

Conference - When the Economy Guides our Thoughts

 On 14 December 2016, Kristof Smeyers (University College London) will talk about Belgium's economic history since the First World War from a totally new perspective: was there a recovery in Belgium after the First World War or did the Belgian economy remain static from then on ?

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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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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20,000 new photographs of the Sipho news agency discovered

 No less than 20,000 new pictures of the news agency Sipho have recently been discovered. They will enrich the first part of the fund preserved at CegeSoma, which already includes 175,000 images relating to Belgian and foreign news of the period 1930-1944. Filed and accessible in digital format, these photographs enjoy a high visibility and are frequently used to illustrate publications.
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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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Reading Room – Changes in the Time Table


From November 2016, our reading room will be open without interruption from Tuesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. This new time table corresponds with the one applied by our colleagues of the State Archives 2 in Brussels. This (small) diminution of our weekly opening times is also in line with the future policy of the State Archives with regard to the accessibility of its reading rooms.
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Volonteers – Departure of the Most Senior Member of the Team


After Gilbert Waeyenbergh, who after 20 years of intensive work accomplished the complete filing of the photographs of the pro-German press agency Sipho, left CegeSoma in December 2013, we now face the departure of the dedicated Pierre Brolet. He will leave the Centre this November 2016. He leaves us with dozens of inventories and lists allowing an easy access to the multiple archive collections.
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Coming Soon – A New Unique Source Edition on Occupation and Daily Life in Europe during WWII

 The project “Societies under German Occupation – Experiences and Everyday Life in World War II” wants to publish source editions that make the impact of the occupation on daily life for the different levels of the population, from Norway to Greece, and from France to the Soviet Union more tangible.
This source edition offers a unique transnational perspective on a little studied topic. The hundreds of sources of the first series dedicated to supply and shortage have now been collected and commented in view of an imminent publication.
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