The library comprises about 90,000 books and brochures, more than 4,000 periodicals and newspapers and a large collection of press cuttings. Originally, the collection focused on the history of the Second World War. The library of the Information Service of the Belgian Government in London and the collaborationist press which, at the Liberation, was seized by the military justice authorities provided the basis for the collection. The gap in the collection that existed when the Centre was created in 1969 is gradually being filled, especially through gifts. At the same time, the library has systematically acquired newly published works on Belgium and the Second World War.
From the 1990s onwards, the library has also focused on other areas and fields of interest. The Centre acquires publications on political and cultural world history of the short 20th century, from the First World War to the 1970s. Within this large field, priority has been given to themes with a relevance to contemporary conflict such as nationalism, ethnicity, racism, migration, communism, the extreme right, colonisation/decolonisation and genocides.
These are also the themes that determine the Centre's acquisition policy of current national and international periodicals (more than 65 subscriptions). The list of periodical to which we subscribe is available here.
The collection of periodicals and newspapers which permanently expands through gifts and exchanges is particularly varied. “Popular” weeklies as well as periodicals of political parties, social organisations and action groups are all included in the collections. Moreover, the Centre holds the largest collection of clandestine papers in Belgium. This collection is now online accessible, together with the clandestine press of the two World Wars kept in Belgium, on the website The Belgian War Press.
The library of CEGESOMA is accessible through the integrated catalogue Pallas.
The clandestine tracts that were circulated by the Allied forces shed light on the subject of psychological warfare. Furthermore, all the pamphlets have been digitized and can be consulted via Pallas (Tick «Photo Library», then type «Tracts» in «Word(s) from title» )
For any gift or deposit of documents : Alain Colignon.