CEGES-SOMA Centre for Historical Research and Documentation on War and Contemporary Society

The Centre for Historical Research and Documentation on War and Contemporary Society (Ceges-Soma), a Belgian federal research institution "on wars and conflicts of the twentieth century and their impact on Belgium" founded in 1969, has made a large part of its collection of archives and other sources searchable with an online catalogue. The archive collection of the CEGES-SOMA 'consists of 1356 meters of paper records, 165 filing card boxes and 4675 microfilms from the period 1914-2000. [...] It includes personal archives, archives of private organisations, of collaborators and collaborationist movements, of resistance fighters and resistance organisations, of official institutions and services that existed only between 1939 and 1946 [...] and of microfilms and photocopies of foreign archival collections.' A part of the material has been digitized and is available online:

  • 18403 pages of archival material which are not only searchable through the catalogue, but can also be browsed directly in an alphabetical list of inventory descriptions
  • ca. 250,000 digital reproductions of photographs from the photography collection
  • ca. 60% of the poster collection

Archival material is presented in a new browser window with zoom function and can also be printed or downloaded as a PDF. Photographs are presented in low resolution but can be ordered (not free) as high resolution images.

Next to giving access to its own material, the CEGES-SOMA hosts a number of cooperative projects:

  • The Belgian War Press, a collection of hundreds of Belgian newspapers from both world wars - most of them clandestine - that have been inventoried and can be read online
  • the archival database Résistance in Flanders that contains the inventories of 'all archival sources kept in Belgium on the Resistance in Flanders and in Brussels during and after the Second World War' (with the exception of the administrative archives kept in the capitals of each province)
  • the bibliographic database Witnesses, a digital version of Gie van den Berghe's 'systematic and analytic bibliography of first-person accounts of the Nazi camps that includes some 1600 eye-witness accounts: books and brochures, drawings, manuscripts and testimonies in clandestine papers, compilations, magazines and newspapers
  • digitized issues of the Bibliography concerning Belgium in/and the Second World War published by the Centre from 1971 until 2006, as well as a 'retrospective bibliography' on 'Occupation in Europe. The Impact of National Socialist and Fascist Rule' funded by the European Science Foundation in 2004, which can all be downloaded as PDFs

All websites are available in English, Flemish and French.


Last update

Sunday, 10 March 2013 - 12:12am
Your rating: None
No votes yet