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.


Our photos described by artificial intelligence… and checked by our readers!

 In April 2017 the research project UGESCO (Upscaling the Geo-temporal Enrichment, exploration and exploitation of Scientific Collections) was launched in order to experiment with new methods to valorise our photo collections.

On 12 December 2018, the project partners will proudly present the new tools they have developed and which combine computing power with the expertise of our researchers and users. Read more...

Invitation : Publications on the Great War at the End of the Commemoration Activities. Evaluation and Prospects.

 After four years of commemoration activities related to the hundredth anniversary of the First World War in Belgium, it is time for an evaluation. Books and journals have already given overviews and opened research perspectives which thus far had remained unexplored. CegeSoma wants to introduce some of these publications and their authors to you on 19 November 2018 from 9.15 a.m. till 1.15 p.m. 

Registration for the presentations, the debate and the reception is possible until 14 November 2018 via this link.

More information: isabelle.ponteville@arch.be

  Read more...

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...

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