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Oral history of the mining region

Mijnwerkers die afdalen in de mijn van Zwartberg. Op de voorgrond een kolenwagentje.(1927) - Nels en Thill
Number of interviews: 43
Accessibility: Contact


Number of interviews: 43

Number of persons: 49

More detailed description of the interview in the heritage database:

Accessibility: contact

Since its creation in 2007, the Heritage Unit has initiated or supported many projects in and about the Mining Region. In preparation for a publication, an exhibition or another heritage event, oral sources were often collected. Each one of them interesting testimonies that shed light on one or more aspects of the past of the Belgian Limburg Mining Region!

The counter has now reached more than 200 oral sources!


Because we do not want to lose this wealth of information (for example for scientific research), we are currently busy opening up these sources through the library of Genk.


In a first phase, we will make the interviews available that we have recorded ourselves, independently of a project. Since 2011, we annually commission several interviews of persons with an interesting story.


In 2011, Erfgoedcel Mijn-Erfgoed started recording interviews from the mining area. These interviews are important testimonies of elderly people who can add to the shared memory of the Limburg mining region. These testimonies are not collected via a project, but they provide a valuable contribution to the heritage in the Mining Region that, together with the witnesses, is in danger of disappearing.

Since 2011, a few people have been interviewed each year. In the meantime, the counter has reached 43 interviews with 49 people, good for about 50 hours of visual material!

Expo Sluitertijd


Naar aanleiding van 100 jaar steenkoolproductie in de Limburgse Mijnstreek en 25 jaar sluiting van de laatste steenkoolmijn van de Benelux, werkte Erfgoedcel Mijn-Erfgoed in 2017, in samenwerking met persfotograaf Tony Van Galen, de rondreizende expo ‘Sluitertijd’ uit. Deze tentoonstelling, met een 35-tal foto’s van Tony Van Galen, geeft een sfeerbeeld van de periode van de mijnstakingen en -sluitingen van de jaren 1980 en 1990. Ook werden enkele interviews afgenomen van personen die op de foto’s stonden.