Sound and vision, Hedda van Gennep
Time period: 1850-1918
Number of interviews: 63
Accessibility: for research purposes
Transcripts: summaries
Period of interviews: 1976-1977


These interviews were made by Hedda van Gennep in 1976 and early 1977 for the nine-part VARA television series (on 16mm film) Voorwaarts en niet vergeten, broadcast between 11 January and 5 May 1977. The series covers the history of the socialist movement in the Netherlands from 1850-1918, with the last part extending the line to 1976. It lasts a total of 5 hours and 45 min. The start of the series was accompanied in the VARAGids (8 January 1977) by an article on the background to the project, which included interviews with the project’s scientific advisor Johan Frieswijk.
The people with whom the interviews were conducted range from all kinds of ‘nameless’ fighters of the socialist labour movement from all over the country – including some of the workers from Friesland already interviewed for the film on Imke Klaver, such as the Brandsma couple and Douwe de Wit – to children of socialist forerunners of the first hour such as Schaper, Vliegen, Troelstra and Domela Nieuwenhuis. Discussions include: the Railway Strike of 1903; the Seamen’s Strike of 1911; the Potato Revolt of 1917; Troelstra’s revolt attempt in 1918; the Algemene Diamantbewerkers Bond (ANDB) and Henri Polak; women’s suffrage; Wibaut and social housing; the SDAP; the trade union movement, including the NVV and the NAS but also the Catholic and Christian organisations; the CPH and David Wijnkoop; the Social Democratic Union (SDB); the Maast


57 interviewees


  • C. Assink
  • dhr. Bildstra
  • mw. W. Boonstra
  • P. Bos
  • L. Bot (2x)
  • mw. T. Bovens-Corsius (2x)
  • dhr. en mw. Brandsma
  • J. Brinkhuis
  • P. Buys
  • mw. Bijlsma
  • A. Caris
  • Cesar Domela (Nieuwenhuis)
  • ir. A. van Emmenes
  • dhr. en mw. Faber
  • D. Groenendijk
  • mw. Halma
  • J. Hippe (2x)
  • Harm van Houten
  • Y. Joustra
  • D. Kiburg
  • mw. Y. Kootstra van der Veen
  • K. Meijnders
  • Dirk Mozes
  • Ies Mug
  • mw. B. van den Muyzenberg
  • dr. Polak
  • dhr. Prakke
  • J. Pront
  • dhr. en mw. Rietstra
  • mw. J. Roetman
  • Jan de Ronde
  • B. Sajet
  • dhr. van Sandbergen
  • mw. G. Sanders-Mantel
  • prof. Schaper
  • R. Schuur
  • J. Seedelaar
  • mw. Sieverts-Vliegen (2x)
  • dhr. Spicht
  • mw. StapelMiddelbeek
  • M. Steenman
  • mw. D. van Swieten
  • mw. Terpstra
  • W. van Tilburg
  • Jelle Troelstra
  • M. Vaartjes (2x)
  • J. Veldhuisen
  • J. Velema
  • W. Vellinga (2x)
  • A. Verhoeff
  • mw. J. Vos-Duchateau
  • mw. H. de Vries
  • Douwe de Wit
  • dhr. Zwerver

Imke Klaver

Collection of former SFW foundation
Time period: late 19th - early 20th century
Number of interviews: 9
Accessibility: for research purposes
Transcripts: Otje Klaver and Hiltje de Vries-Hogerhuis complete; remainder summary
Period of interviews: 1974-1975


The collection has not yet been digitized and therefore cannot be viewed directly at Sound & Vision. Digitization, however, can be requested through Sound & Vision.


The following item can be found in DAAN, the digital archive of Sound & Vision:


Imke Klaver, diary of a Frisian agricultural worker, broadcast 13-04-1975 by VARA, part of the Signalement series.

Medium: 7 audiotapes

The interviews were made for the film Imke Klaver, memories of a Frisian farm worker (16mm, 35′, Hedda van Gennep and
Henk de By, 1975), broadcast by VARA television on April 13, 1975. In the VARA-gids of that week, an article provides context information about the film and the people featured in it; it also contains the results of (another) interview with
Roorda: ‘Gerrit Roorda, do you tell me who Imke Klaver was’, by Marinus Schroevers.


The project was started against the background of the ‘discovery’ of Imke Klaver’s diary by the historian Ger Harmsen, who
also speaks the commentary in the film. The diary has appeared in print: Imke Klaver, Memoirs of a Frisian
farm worker. Some chronicled cases from the youngest past to 1925 (introduced by Ger Harmsen and with notes by
Johan Frieswijk), Nijmegen: SUN, 1974.


The interviews discuss the person of Imke Klaver, the often miserable living and working conditions in the Frisian countryside at the end of the 19th and in the first decades of the 20th century, and the (free) socialist movement in that period. Like Klaver’s diary, the conversations end at the workmen’s strike of 1925. Otje and Jelle Klaver are respectively wife and son of the main character. Talking with Hiltje de Vries-Hogerhuis is exclusively about the infamous “Hogerhuis case,” in which the brothers Wiebren, Marten and Keimpe Hogerhuis were arrested and convicted of burglary with assault in 1895, allegedly unjustly. As supporters of Domela Nieuwenhuis, they would have been hopeless at trial. Mrs. de Vries was a cousin (uncle’s cousin) of the brothers.



  • Mr. and Mrs. Brandsma
  • Jelle Klaver
  • Otje Klaver-Haanstra
  • Mr. van der Laan
  • Gerrit Roorda
  • Mr. Schoppe
  • Mr. Veenstra
  • Hiltje de Vries-Hogerhuis
  • Douwe de Wit


Herinneringen van een friese landarbeider

Imke KLaver

Sunschrift 71, 1971

Herdruk: Boom uitgevers Amsterdam

ISBN: 9789061686552

In 1971 Ger Harmsen came across a thick school notebook in Friesland, which turned out to contain the life memories and musings of Imke Klaver. The latter had died in 1967 at the age of 87. In 1971, these memories were first published in book form, bilingual: Frisian and Dutch, by SUN. Much read and praised at the time. The editions from the 1970s have been out of print for years. Because they were still in high demand, a reprint appeared, with a new afterword by Johan Frieswijk.

Four gentlemen about the Gouda of around 1890

Oosthaven 31, Virnly’s home has housed the Israelite Old Men and Women’s Home for several years at the time this photo was taken (1904). Photo: SAHM

J.G.W.F. Bik
Time period: 1890
Number of interviews: 3
Transcripts: Yes


Transcription: published in Tiedinge van Die Goude 

Episode 1 

Episode 2

Episode 3



19 October 1954 – Interviewer Dr. J.G.W.F. Bik, chairman of the Oudheidkundige Kring Die Goude, had managed to seize a so-called wire-recorder, a then very modern invention and early predecessor of the advanced tape recorder. The device was capable of ‘recording the spoken word on a kind of thick steel wire, after which the sound could later be played back. ‘The wire-recorder was used at Geert Bouwmeester’s De Goudse Insurance Company for dictating letters. But Dr. Bik was able to borrow the device for an evening, allowing the three very elderly Gouda residents to speak their highly personal childhood memories ‘live’ into the microphone. These conversations were later typed out on paper’. And so it is still possible to read what Messrs. S.H. van der Kraats, B.H. van der Werve and D.L. Dijkxhoom confided to the public and the wire-recorder in conversation with Bik. B.H. van der Werve, born on West Haven, was the oldest interviewee at 91. He had been a bailiff by profession and also a commissioner of the Werkinrichting tot Wering der Bedelarij for thirty years. S.H. (Sybrand) van der Kraats, father of the later editor-in-chief of the Goudsche Courant, Siep van der Kraats, was custodian of the library. Nothing further is mentioned about Dijkxhoorn (87 years).


Vooruit: 100/30

Time period: 1900-2011


Number of interviews: 5

Sound file: wav

Transcripts: yes

10-minute summaries: yes

Accessibility: one-time registration and login

The centenary (2013) of the Feestlokaal Vooruit and the thirtieth anniversary of the Arts Centre that is housed there will be an opportunity to make the rich material and immaterial heritage of the building, the socialist cooperative Vooruit and its cultural activities and the Arts Centre accessible to a broad public.

The promoters and external partners want to develop a rich ‘content’ by tracing, valorising and presenting tangible and intangible heritage in an accessible way. To this end, the documentary heritage preserved by AMSAB Institute of Social History and the Arts Centre is being explored. In addition, three oral history projects will be carried out on the history of the last half century of Vooruit.

They will be made available in the form of a website, mobile ICT applications in the Feestlokaal Vooruit, an exhibition in the STAM and a public book. The experience and know-how of external partners will be used for this.
The 100th/30th anniversary of Vooruit will undoubtedly appeal to a broad public and will also receive a lot of media attention. This project wants to anticipate this with a high-quality heritage project in which UGent historians, art historians, architects and multimedia engineers will contribute. It fits in the good neighbourhood in which Vooruit and UGent live ‘back to back’ and it will contribute to the image of UGent.




Author: Liesbet Nys
ISBN: 9789491376481

Behind the iconic façade of De Vooruit lies a rich history. A story of 100 years of trial and error.

de vooruit/geschiedenis


Werking van de coöperatie Vooruit from Geertjan Tillmans on Vimeo.


Rode cultuurbeleving in het feestlokaal van Vooruit tijdens het interbellum (1919
-1939) – Johannes Teerlinck


Rode cultuurbeleving in het feestlokaal van vooruit

Universiteit Gent, Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte, Afdeling Geschiedenis (Nieuwste Geschiedenis), Academiejaar 2009


About the flowers and the bees

Time period: 1900-1996

Number of interviews: 3

Sound source: audiocassettes

Digitized: mov

Transcriptions: yes

10-minute summaries: yes

Accessibility: one-time registration and login

Interviews conducted within the framework of the project ‘Over de bloemetjes en de bijtjes’, sex education in and around the socialist milieu.

Author: Nele Bracke
Number of Pages 498
Year of publication: 1999



Article by Wis Geysen published in Desire has touched us.

About flowers and bees: sex education in and around the socialist milieu

pg. 281-309


Time period: 1895-2000


Number of interviews: 18

Transcriptions: yes (Dutch, French)

Sound file: mp3

Accessibility: mandatory registration and on request 

The international cultural heritage project A World of Diamond: Diamond Workers in The Netherlands, Belgium and France, 1895-2000 will collect, describe and disseminate the dispersed heritage of the international diamond workers during the twentieth century and beyond. A consortium will be created bringing together partners from The Netherlands, Belgium and France. The project will study and testpilotstrategies to digitally aggregate, improve and disseminate the digitized documents, images and testimonies of the worlds of diamond workers.


Publication on the occasion of the project “A world of diamond: diamond workers in Belgium, the Netherlands and France, 1895-2000”.

48 p.
ISBN: 9789464330045

Enkele mannen en jongens uit de diamantbewerking poserend met hun werkstukken. Diamantslijpers (staande) en diamantverstelders (zittend). 1890-1892.

Holiday colonies on the Belgian coast (1886-1980)

Time period: 1886-1980

Number of interviews: 80

Sound files: wav

Transcriptions: yes, Dutch

10-minute summaries: yes

Accessibility: mandatory registration and on request


Archival history: The interviews were conducted by students of New History (UGent), for the course Qualitative Methods – part-time oral history taught by Bruno De Wever for the project Vakantiekolonies aan de Belgische kust (1886-1980) of Amsab-ISG.


Although holiday colonies were a widespread phenomenon until the 1980s, there has been little research into them. The first holiday colonies arose from the School struggle. Besides this political goal, their main task was to improve the health of working-class children. After the First World War, all Belgian pillar organisations started to set up holiday colonies.


The holiday colonies differed not only in political background. Unlike the Catholic ones, for example, the socialist holiday colonies mixed girls and boys. At the end of the 1960s, the holiday colonies experienced their heyday. The emphasis was now not so much on health as on meaningful leisure activities. Together with the professionalisation of the colony staff, the clientele of the holiday homes shifted from weakened working-class children to middle-class children.


Research into this phenomenon is therefore very complex. Colonies were set up by the government, health insurance companies, employers, organisations and private individuals, and are therefore diverse in many aspects. Not every organiser has left behind sources. Classic sources are often lacking and if they are present, they do not immediately give us a picture of the stay in the colony.


The registration of oral testimonies is appropriate here, on the one hand to supplement the lack of sources and on the other hand to find out how colony residents experienced these holidays. Specifically for this research, there is another reason to use oral history as a method. In contrast to other source material about the colonies, iconographic material has been abundantly preserved. Mostly in the form of postcards. These show us how the colonists wanted to present their colony to the outside world. The films we have at our disposal are also propaganda for the colonies and their organisers. These images must therefore be supplemented with other sources and testimonies. Because of the diversity of the holiday colonies and the different aspects of the holiday, there are three main lines in our research: – Who went to the holiday colony? – How was the holiday colony experienced? – How did outsiders view the holiday colonies?





“We Zijn Goed Aangekomen! Vakantiekolonies Aan de Belgische Kust [1887-1980].” Bijdragen van Het Museum van de Vlaamse Sociale Strijd van de Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen, vol. 25, ASP Editions ; Amsab-ISG, 2010. Auteur:


Author: Martine Vermandere
Publisher: Aspeditions
ISBN: 9789054876946

In this book, author Martine Vermandere outlines the rich history of the phenomenon of holiday colonies, from the reception of working-class children by charities at the end of the 19th century to the professionalisation of the colonies by health insurance funds after the Second World War. By means of unique photo material and testimonies of beautiful and less beautiful memories, this book takes you through the history of the holiday colonies in all its aspects.

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.


Henri Polak

Collection former Stichting Film en Wetenschap.
Time period: 1890-1943
Number of interviews: 22
Accessibility: limited, for research purposes
Transcripts: none
Period of interviews: 1976


Interviewer: Salvador Bloemgarten

Medium: 14 sound tapes

The interviews were held as part of Salvador Bloemgarten’s PhD research on Henri Polak (1868-1943), politician and one of the most prominent leaders of the Dutch labour movement. This resulted in his biographical dissertation (UvA):

Henri Polak. Sociaal democraat 1868-1943, Den Haag: SDU, 1993


The interviews were held as part of Bloemgarten’s PhD research on Henri Polak (1868-1943), politician and one of the most prominent leaders of the Dutch labour movement. Both in the biography and in the interviews the emphasis is on Polak’s public functions. The interviewees speak from the various relationships they had with Polak.
After coming under the influence of socialism as a diamond worker through the English Fabian Society and the Dutch socialist Frank van der Goes, Polak joined the Social Democratic League (SDB) of Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis in 1890. In 1894, together with Pieter Jelles Troelstra and others, he founded the Social-Democratic Labour Party (SDAP), for which he became the first socialist councillor in Amsterdam in 1902. Also in 1894 he founded the Algemene Nederlandse Diamantbewerkers Bond (ANDB), of which he was chairman for 45 years. In 1906 he took the initiative to found the Dutch Union of Trade Unions (NVV).
He also devoted himself to the ‘cultural uplift of the working class’ and developed many activities in the field of journalism. In 1913, he became a member of the Dutch Senate.
From the 1920s onwards, he concentrated more and more on the position of the Amsterdam diamond workers, the group that was closest to him and which in that period got into economically bad situations.
poor economic conditions. After the German invasion in 1940 he was taken prisoner and unexpectedly released in 1942. He died in 1943 of pneumonia.


Portrait of Henri Polak, chalk dawing Albert Hahn, 1913

Jacques Presser
Collectie voormalige Stichting Film en Wetenschap
Time period: 1899-1970
Number of interviews: 126
Accessibility: Limited
Transcripts: Summaries
Period of interviews: 1984 - 1987

Interviewer: Nanda van der Zee

The interviews were conducted for Van der Zee’s biography of Presser (1899-1970):
Jacques Presser: het gelijk van de twijfel. Een biografie, Amsterdam: Balans, 1988.


The interviewees (some of them in Jerusalem) are family members, former pupils, former students, colleagues and other relations of the historian and writer. They talk about his youth, background and family ties; his student days; teaching at the Vossius Gymnasium and the Jewish Lyceum in Amsterdam; his marriage to Dé Appel; the war years, including the suicide attempt in May 1940, Dé’s deportation and the period in hiding; his Jewish identity; his second marriage to Bep Hartog; his political views; the issue of his appointment as professor of Newest History at the University of Amsterdam Political Social Faculty at the University of Amsterdam; his publications, including his well-known two-volume Ondergang. The persecution and extermination of Dutch Jewry, 1940-1945, The Hague: Staatsuitgeverij, 1965.