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Their work, their life – 1900-1950

Time period: 1900-1950

Number of interviews: 80

Original carrier: VHS cassette and audiocassette

Accessible: limited availability

Video material is still available for some interviews and the audio recording of one interview.

Documentation of the collection, existing video and audio material: in the library

The interviews have been incorporated into the publication of the Museum for Industrial Archaeology and Textiles:

Jan Cleiren, Bie De Graeve, René De Herdt

Published: 1980

In the early years, the Industry Museum was a pioneer of oral history in Flanders, with the large-scale project Their work, their lives in 1978. Witnesses of the Ghent textile world 1900-1950. Bie De Graeve interviewed eighty textile workers.
The resulting exhibition was an overwhelming success. An entire community got a face. These are stories of people who often fall between the folds of historiography.


Most of the audio files of the interviews themselves no longer exist. After extensive documentation, they were no longer preserved (in the early 1980s, archiving audio files was not yet very common). Video material is still available for a few interviews, and the audio recording for one interview.