Dutch-speaking Brussels residents

Mondelinge geschiedenis


Brussels narrated and unveiled (2002-2003)
Brussels at work (2003-2004)
The great and small history of the cobblestone (2003-2004)
The Flemish Memory of Brussels (2011-2012)


Number of interviews: 71

Number of transcriptions: 58

Accessibility: geluidsbank


As a community archive, the AMVB wants to keep its finger on the pulse of what touched and moves Dutch-speaking Brussels residents. This is why the AMVB is enthusiastically collecting personal testimonies from Vic Anciaux, Jacky Duyck, Clara Haesaert, Louis Van Geyt, among others…. Using the oral history methodology, Dutch-speaking Brussels residents are being interviewed about the North Quarter, butchers’ shops, amateur theatre, rederijkerij and Dutch-speaking socio-cultural club life.


The results of the initiatives Brussels told and unlocked (2002-2003), Brussels at work (2003-2004), The large and small history of the cobblestone (2003-2004) and The Flemish Memory of Brussels (2011-2012) – in total more than 70 interviews – can be listened to via the digital reading room. You can also view the disclosure sheet and photo of the interviewee there.









Stynen 2018


stynen 2018


Number of interviews: 5

Brief summary on the website

If you wish to access the full interview, please fill in the request form in

On the occasion of the Stynen 2018 project, the Flemish Architecture Institute (VAi) conducted five interviews with family members, colleagues and clients of Léon Stynen that give us a unique insight into the architect’s life and work.


You will find a brief summary of each interview below. If you would like to access the full interview, please complete the request form.


  • Herman Van der Wee
  • Anne Stynen
  • Lucien Jacques Baucher
  • Paul Meekels
  • Constantin Brodzki





Number of interviews: 7

Brief summary on the website

If you wish to access the full interview, please fill in the request form in

The cultural heritage of design consists not only of sketches, models, photographs or correspondence of designers. With design, there is also a strong interplay between explicit knowledge and unconscious knowledge, knowledge that may be passed on but which usually does not receive written expression. That is why the Flemish Architecture Institute conducted interviews with designers, policy-makers and craftspeople.


For each of the seven interviews, you will find a short summary and brief biographical information of the interviewee on the website. If you would like to consult the full interview, please fill in the request form.


  • Leonce Dekeijse
  • José Vanderlinden
  • Luc en Katrien Mestdagh
  • Achiel Pauwels
  • Moniek Bucquoye
  • Lieven Daenens
  • Johan Valcke

Fifty years of urban planning law




Number of interviews: 8

Brief summary on the website

If you wish to access the full interview, please fill in therequest form in

The Flemish Architecture Institute (VAi), as part of the project Fifty years of urban planning law, conducted eight interviews with key witnesses of urban planning development and handling of landscape during the past half century.


For each of the eight interviews, you will find a short summary and brief biographical information of the interviewee on the site of the Flemish Architecture Institute.


  • Jef Van den Broeck
  • Herman Baeyens
  • Bob Cools
  • Georges Allaert
  • Herman Rosseau
  • Louis Albrechts
  • Evert Lagrou
  • Karel Debaere en Bert Vanbelle



50 years of work in the Waasland region

People at work on a bending machine in the Sint-Niklaas metal construction company Nobels-Peelman, 1972.
Sint-Niklaas, City Archives.





All original interviews are kept in the collection of the General State Archives in Beveren. Interviews conducted by pupils can also be found in local municipal archives.


140 interviews by pupils

Sint-Maarten Bovenschool Beveren: 46 interviews with maids (24), dockers (11) and farmers (11)

Sint-Jorisinstituut Bazel: 40 interviews with former employees of the Rupelmond shipyard CNR (14), people talking about life and work and leisure in the Kruibeek polders (17), farmers (9)

Sint-Amelberga Instituut Temse: 13 interviews with ex-Boelwerf workers

Onze Lieve Vrouw Presentatie Sint-Niklaas: 10 interviews with former employees of carpet factory Meert (2) en steenbakkerij Scheerders Van Kerchove (8)


15 crown witness interviews

integral interviews on DVD

transcriptions via: website


Oral history with schools around 8 themes


Econonomic story of Wase companies and professional sectors supplemented by personal stories.


8 themes:


  • Boelwerf Temse
  • Shipyard Chantier Naval Rupelmonde (CNR)
  • Service personnel
  • Agriculture
  • The Kruibeekse polders
  • Brickworks Scheerders van Kerckhove (SVK)
  • Meert carpet factory
  • Works at the docks


Around the middle of the last century, the Waasland region experienced a great economic boom, in business sectors such as the textile industry, metal construction and shipbuilding. Large and small companies employed thousands of people. In the last quarter of the 20th century, however, many of these companies were forced to stop their activities, with all the consequences that entailed.


50 years of work in the Waasland region is an oral history project. The Heritage Unit Waasland supplemented the history of the Waasland companies and professional sectors with the personal stories of people who worked here in the second half of the 20th century. These testimonies paint a colourful picture of what “work” meant in the period 1945-1995.


The results were compiled on a DVD with video and audio clips and accompanying documents.











Aalstern Spaniards

In the 1950s, many Spanish families migrated to Limburg to dig for a better life in the coal mines. When there was talk of mine closures, some of them started looking out for a new source of income and they found it in the Aalst textile industry.

Indeed, the personnel director of Filature du Canal, one of Aalst’s largest textile factories, went to Limburg to recruit (former) miners.


Spanish guest workers found their way to Aalst’s textile factories from the 1960s onwards. Many of them had already been working in the Limburg coal mines for a while then, but when the economic situation started to deteriorate, the personnel director of Filature du Canal started to warm them up for a life in Aalst.

Aalstern Turks

Turkish migrants came to Aalst from the 1970s onwards. Most of the Aalst Turks or Turkish Aalst residents are from the town of Emirdag. Emirdag is a town in Afyonkarahisar province in Turkey. It had some 21,127 inhabitants in 1997. There is a lot of agriculture, animal husbandry and handicrafts in Emirdag, but the town is mostly known for the many immigrants who immigrated to Western Europe, mainly to Belgium. Thus, many people from Emirdag are represented in Aalst, Ghent, in the Brussels municipality of Schaarbeek and Saint-Josse-ten-Noode.


Line 13 – Protteknie

eerste helft 20ste eeuw, zicht op Petroleum Zuid - stadsarchief Antwerpen


Number of interviews: unknown

Audio files: wav

Accessibility: Reading room, one-time registration and login

10-minutes summaries



In 2001, the Neighbourhood Development Corporation, the Heritage Cell and Amsab joined forces in search of a new vision for the destination of Petroleum South. The Flemish government and Urban II breathe financial life into the project. Two artful screenings highlight the stories of local residents: “Woeste Gronden” (after T.S. Elliot) in 2002 and “Line 13 – Protteknie Petrol Zuid” the following year. In 2007, the city decided to prepare for the effective rehabilitation of the area and its redevelopment into a high-quality business park.


Per the concession, the remaining companies can continue their operations until 2035. Some 200 people still work at Petroleum South today. What was once a glorious, leading petroleum port is now on the eve of a spectacular transformation. Already, the brand new Herenpolder bridge connects Petrol to Emiel Vloorsstraat. The old Kruger Bridge may yet be converted into a cycling and walking bridge. But so much more is in the pipeline.
Soon our phoenix will reawaken here in a completely new outfit!


© photo: privat collection Jef De Paepe. Design: Nicole Schellekens



Lijn 13 – Protteknie : 100 jaar Petrol Zuid
Published on the occasion of the exhibition of the same name
Authors: Vera De Boeck, Annick Schreuder, Martine Vermandere, Ilse Cockx, Hugo Manson, Marc Jacobs, Petrol Zuid (Antwerpen), Archief en Museum van de Socialistische Arbeidersbeweging (Gent), Antwerpen, Stad Erfgoedcel, Buurtontwikkelingsmaatschappij (Antwerpen)
Publisher: City of Antwerp, 2003
Length: 45 pages

The women of Breskens

Arrival bus, Tolhuislaan, ca. 1979-1982


Interviewer: Neslihan Dogan

Number of interviews: 10

Audio file: mp4

Accessibility: reading room

Transcripts: no

10-minute summaries: no

Between 1970 and 1981, dozens of Turkish women from Ghent worked in a fish filleting factory in Breskens, the Netherlands. Today, 40 years later, we are looking for the stories of these women. Did you or a family member work at Diepvries Breskens and will you or they testify about this? 
The women from Ghent lived mainly in the districts Rabot, Muide and Sluizeken-Tolhuis-Ham. With a company bus, they were picked up at Tolhuislaan in the early morning and drove along the Ghent Canal Zone to their final destination: Diepvries Breskens.

Amsab-ISG owns a series of photos by Lieve Colruyt showing diligently working women, sometimes diligently filleting fish, other times looking straight into the lens. Why did these women go to work in Breskens? Was there no work in Ghent? How did they experience the work there?


Neslihan Dogan

Masterproef voorgelegd voor het behalen van de graad master in de richting Conflict en Development

“Door onze hulp werden ze arbeiders. Ik heb vier jaar voor hen gezorgd.”

Turkse migrantenvrouwen van de eerste generatie over moederschap, arbeid en netwerken in gent, 1960 – 1979


Neslihan Dogan interviews, 2019 – 2020


Under pseudonyms:

  1. Interview with Ayse, 23/01/2019
  2. Interview with Dicle, 18/09/2019
  3. Interview with Elif, 19/09/2019
  4. Interview with Gönül, 22/11/2019
  5. Interview with Cemile, 18/12/2019
  6. Interview with Sevilay, 27/01/2020
  7. Interview with Canan, 06/02/2020
  8. Interview with Türkan, 19/06/2020
  9. Interview with Tülay, 27/06/20
  10. Interview with Ulviye, 28/06/2020

Artikel Neslihan Dogan in Brood & Rozen | Folio, journal for the history of social movements:

Op zoek naar de vrouw naast de Turkse gastarbeider

Vrouwen in de visfileerfabriek in Breskens. Foto: © Lieve Colruyt (Amsab-ISG)

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

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.