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Ongoing Research at CEGESOMA

The research conducted at CEGESOMA is twofold: on the one hand there is the research carried out by the permanent researchers and on the other the research projects which are limited in time and are funded with exterior resources, for the most part by the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (see Scientific team). These research activities and projects are in the field of 20th century history and principally concern the two world wars.


Current research projects are:


- Two BRAIN projects (Belgian Research Action through Interdisciplinary Networks, Federal Science Policy) on the First World War. The first, led by Karla Vanraepenbusch, lists and analyses all the memorial traces of the Great War in the urban landscapes of Antwerp and Liège. The second, led by Florent Verfaillie, studies the social impact of the war on the members of the resistance and collaborators of the First World War.

For more information please contact Karla Vanraepenbusch or Florent Verfaillie.


- IAP "Justice and Populations" (projects "Impact of the Great War on the Functioning of Justice in Belgium";  "The Relation between Magistracy and Police, and Resistance in Belgium during the Second World War"; "The Liberation Murders' in the judicial district Brussels (1944-45)" and "The Belgian Justice during and after the Second World War  (virtual encyclopedia Belvirmus)").

For more information please contact Dirk Luyten.


- European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI). EHRI's mission is to support the Holocaust research community by building a digital infrastructure through its Online Portal where the wide dispersal of the archival source material regarding the Holocaust are being collected.

For more information please contact adina.babesh.


- The MADDLAIN-project aims to analyse the practices and needs of users with regard to access to digital information. The project consists of three components: a study concerning general access to digital information, a part focused on the needs of researchers with regard to virtual research environments and a study regarding the e-learning needs of students.

For more information please contact Jill Hungenaert.


- The ADOCHS project (Auditing Digitalization Outputs in the Cultural Heritage Sector) is dedicated to the improvement of the quality control of digitised heritage collections. The project focuses on two aspects: the quality of the image and the quality of the metadata. The case studies of the project will be taken from the collections of the KBR and CegeSoma.

For more information please contact Anne Chardonnens.


- The TRANSMEMO project is a new research project on the memory of collaboration and resistance during the Second World War. It is a cooperation between CegeSoma (Nico Wouters), Ghent University (Bruno De Wever & Koen Aerts) and the UCL (Olivier Luminet and Valérie Rosoux).

For more information please contact Florence Rasmont.



Zoé Grumberg’s EHRI fellowship at CEGESOMA

 Zoé Grumberg is a third-year PhD Candidate at the Center of History of Sciences Po Paris, where she prepares, under the supervision of prof Claire Andrieu, a Phd  "S'engager et militer, reconstruire la vie juive, lutter contre l'oubli. Les Juifs communistes yiddishophones après la Shoah, Paris, 1944-années 1950" 'Engagement and militancy : reconstruction of Jewish life, struggle against forgetting : the Yiddish-speaking Communist Jews in Paris after the Shoah, Paris 1944- 1950's'.


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CegeSoma is looking for families who want to participate in a new research project on family memories of resistance and collaboration

 In the context of the latest project on family memories of resistance and collaboration  in Belgium, which CegeSoma has started in cooperation with Ghent University and the UCL, we are looking for families who are willing to share their family history and their war memories. Read more...

The results of the MADDLAIN project

 After two years, the MADDLAIN project has come to an end. Six researchers have analysed a large number of data, including the results of a survey answered by 2,300 external users. Additionally, numerous interviews have been examined. Today, the three associated institutions behind MADDLAIN – the Belgian State Archives, the Belgian Royal Library, and CegeSoma – are happy to present the results of their investigation. Read more...

IAP's Justice & Society and Justice & Population - 10 clips of research presentation (IAP) and an unpublished work on the attitude of Belgian magistrate during the Second World War

On Friday the 22nd of September, the final results of the Interuniversity Attraction Pools (IAP's) Justice & Society and Justice & Population were festively presented in the Palace of Academies in Brussels. One element on the programme was the screening of ten films in which PhD students explained (the results of) their research. The films can be viewed online here.
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TRANSMEMO: New Research on the Memory of Collaboration and Resistance during the Second World War

 In September 2017, the new research project TRANSMEMO has been launched, a partnership between the CegeSoma (Nico Wouters), Ghent University (Bruno De Wever & Koen Aerts) and the UCL (Olivier Luminet & Valérie Rosoux). Three young researchers, Florence Rasmont (CegeSoma), Aline Cordonnier (UCL) and Pierre Bouchat (UCL) are in charge of the project.
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ARCHIVES – UGESCO Project : High-quality Spatial-temporal Metadata for the Digitized Collections

 The UGESCO project  was  launched on 1 April. It is a two-year project coordinated by the ELIS department of Ghent University, with the participation of CegeSoma (Belgian State Archives), the STIC department of the Université Libre de Bruxelles, the Arts Faculty of the University of Leuven and the Geography department of Ghent University. Read more...

MADDLAIN - Highlights of the Study Day Inside the User’s Mind

 On 22 February 2017, the conference room in the Royal Library in Brussels was packed. Some 200 amateur and professional researchers, in charge of digitization in a heritage institution, archivists or curators of collections, were present to hear the results of the MADDLAIN research project which was carried out for two years by CegeSoma (OD4 – State Archives), the State Archives and the Royal Library. The goal? A better understanding of the practices and digital needs of their different audiences and users with the aim of developing new strategies.
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IAP Project ‘Murders during the Liberation and the Belgian Judiciary: the Case of Brussels’

Multiform violence against collaborators

Everywhere in Europe, governments and citizens dealt with collaborators after the liberation in 1944-1945. This was done through legal institutional means by courts, but also in a more spontaneous and violent ways by members of resistance groups and citizens. In Belgium as well, real and alleged collaborators were taken prisoner, molested and in some cases murdered. There was also more symbolic violence: household goods were destroyed and homes were plastered with slogans. This street violence was a reaction against the many years of occupation, but it is today, and in some cases also at the time, considered unjust (and illegal). Read more...

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