TRANSMEMO is a collaboration between the State Archives (Cegesoma), UGent and UCL. It is an interdisciplinary project of historians and social psychologists. Nico Wouters, operational director of CegeSoma, is the project manager for the State Archives.


project transmemo


TRANSMEMO is a two-year research project on intergenerational transmission of memories, specifically how memories of resistance and collaboration during World War II are passed from parents to their children and grandchildren.


The method used is oral history. Through interviews with three generations (survivors-children-great-grandchildren), we examine how certain perceptions about the collaboration and resistance were formed in family circles. In this way we want to better understand how collective memories can become so persistent in a society, which in this case is relevant for example with regard to the different perceptions about WW II in French-speaking Belgium and Flanders.

The project also uses CegeSoma’s extensive collection of oral sources, and aims to open up this historical collection for the first time for the study of collective memory. The interviews made during the project will be deposited at CegeSoma.


The project also has a social component: it aims to allow children and grandchildren of collaborators and members of the resistance to confront and dialogue with each other about how their (grand)parents’ past has shaped their own lives and views. It should lead to a better understanding about the processing of WWII in Belgium, but more globally also about the role that unresolved collective traumas from the past play in creating lasting social tensions.


The series will be broadcast on Belgian radio and will also be available as podcast on the CegeSoma website Belgium WWII.


Author : Koen Aerts
ISBN : 9789463101868
Publisher: Pelckmans

This book is the result of years of research by Koen Aerts (University of Ghent/CegeSoma-State archives) and has already been  published in Dutch in 2018 by Polis (Kinderen van de repressie. Hoe Vlaanderen worstelt met de bestraffing van de collaboratie.). Based on dozens of interviews with children of Flemish collaborators, it tries to define how collaboration and post-war repression in Flanders still echo across generations.


The author combines his research with a broader political and socio-cultural history of the postwar image of collaboration and repression, so that his book becomes a larger reference work on “the past not overcome” of World War II in Flanders and Belgium.

Koen Aerts further conducted part of the follow-up research within the TRANSMEMO project (BRAIN-Belspo), in which CegeSoma (State Archives) was a partner.

Among the people



150 witnesses were interviewed and new photographic material was collected. The project will be completed in June 2010.

Number of audio clips interviews: 35

Accessibility of total interviews unclear


The project came about in cooperation between OPZ Geel, the city council of Geel, the VZW KOGEKA, the OMV Gasthuismuseum, the Geels Geschiedkundig Genootschap and FARO.


For more information, contact:

Bert Boeckx
Archivist OPZ
Pass 200
2440 Geel
014 57 91 11

This image and sound bank is the result of the oral history project of the same name that took place between 2007 and 2010.
During that period, historians, staff members and former staff members of the OPZ, volunteers and young people interviewed all kinds of witnesses about the last decades of the age-old Geel family nursing home. Listen to their stories, look at old photos and let a piece of family nursing history come to life!


Authors : Bert Boeckx, Geert Vandecruys
ISBN : 9789064456091
Publisher: Epo, Uitgeverij

Het verleden van de gezinsverpleging in Geel maakt onmiskenbaar deel uit  van het Vlaamse en zelfs internationale culturele erfgoed. Het doel van het project “Tussen de mensen… de spraakmakende geschiedenis van de Geelse gezinsverpleging.” is om aan de hand van interviews een collectie mondelinge bronnen  over de Geelse gezinsverpleging in al zijn aspecten aan te leggen en te valoriseren door diverse manieren van erfgoedontsluiting. Centraal staat de vraag hoe het was om in de gezinsverpleging te leven en/of te werken. Tezelfdertijd wil dit project ook zicht krijgen op particuliere collecties (foto’s, objecten, …) rond de thuisverpleging.

Broken through the glass ceiling?

Number of interviews: 30

Availability: unknown

In the thesis “The glass ceiling broken?”, Lore Goovaerts examines which women at UGent in the recent past still managed to break through this glass ceiling and in what way they did so. My focus is on the female emeriti of UGent and not on the still active female professors. The emeriti of UGent are a clearly defined group and bear witness to a recent past, namely the situation at UGent during the second half of the 20th century. What are the experiences of female emeriti in relation to gender issues? What is their life story and profile? How did they succeed in becoming professors? Did they experience opposition in their careers because they were women? What was the work/life balance like during their career? Did they have a network with other female professors? Through interviews with several female emeriti, Lore Goovaerts tries to answer these questions.

Het glazen plafond doorbroken?

Master’s thesis submitted to the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
for the degree of Master of History.
Academic Year 2015-2016


Goovaert’s thesis focuses on the life stories of women who managed to rise to the highest academic ranks at Ghent University in the second half of the 20th century. This makes her thesis highly relevant both socially and academically. Socially relevant, because to this day, such success is reserved for far too few women and pressure must still be exerted on Dutch and Belgian university administrators to offer women the same career opportunities as men. Scientifically relevant, because beyond the statistical material that often supports policy papers, we actually know very little about how women themselves have experienced the ups and downs of their careers. Lore Goovaerts has produced a methodologically and substantively outstanding piece of work. It does justice to the historical life experience of successful women scientists and also sharpens all of us’ sights on something that should finally become history: the glass ceiling in the university.

From good soil


uit goeie grond


Number of interviews: 17

Availability/Accessibility full interviews: unknown



Discover the horticultural past of Destelbergen, Lochristi, Melle, Merelbeke, Oosterzele and Sint-Lievens-Houtem! Uit goeie grond introduces you to the past of flower farms, tree nurseries and chicory growing through a number of tourist experience elements!


Relive the horticultural past via interactive audio points and cycling and walking routes in the region.


  • Georgette Collin
  • Jacques Sonneville
  • Marc Roggeman
  • André Baert
  • Cecile De Pauw
  • Vien Floré
  • Philippe Nimmegeers
  • zuster Marguerita
  • Carlo De Cooman
  • Jean-Pierre Bouckaert
  • Simonne Van De Kerkhove-Volckaert
  • Noël De Neve
  • Adrien Rahoens
  • Charel Van De Slijke
  • Antoine Van De Keere
  • André Paerewijck
  • Herman D’Hauwers


Flax talk

Foto van het zwingelen van vlas - Demuynck (fotograaf) - Provincie West-Vlaanderen - B00006123



Number of interviews: 36

Availability / Accessibility: unknown


A publication was published as a result of the project: 

Vlasparlee. De wonderjaren van een vlasgeneratie (1920-1960)

Author: Brecht Dewaele

Publisher: Provincie West-Vlaanderen. Brugge, 2013




Authors: Brecht Dewaele, Hans Dobbelaere, Carlos Van Craeynest

Publisher: Provincie West-Vlaanderen, Kortrijk, 2009


The “Texas of Flanders” along the “Golden River”. This fancy name is related to the very distinct and typical flax industry that developed along the banks of the Lys and Mandel rivers from the 19th century onwards. This flourishing industry put the Kortrijk region on the world map, radically transformed the landscape and brought unprecedented prosperity to the region. It immediately becomes clear how much flax contributed to the historical identity of this region.


With the Vlasparlee project, we wanted to record the personal memories of the remaining witnesses. These oral memoirs were preserved for posterity through a series of filmed interviews and made accessible through a beautiful DVD compilation A Past in Flax. Flax stories from the Texas of Flanders.


Thus, we learned more about the daily working conditions of the flax workers, the common language, the fat and the lean years, the rituals at the Monday flax fair, the clothing of the boat-buyer and the bustling pub life. In other words, through this search for the oral flax heritage, the wider social history of South-West Flanders was also revived.


These haunting flax stories were then also made accessible to a wide audience in other attractive ways. In April 2009, a travelling exhibition was launched, which visited the various municipalities in the Leie and Mandel region over the following months.


Foto van een familie ‘in het vlas’ – Provincie West-Vlaanderen – B00006124

Fruit stories in Haspengouw

Kersen eten op zondag te Moelingen (Theo Broers)



Number of interviews: 67

Availability/accessibility: unknown

Sappig Verteld



Haspengouw is known as the fruit region of Belgium. The history of this region has already been extensively studied. But the personal stories of those working in the Haspengouw fruit sector have not yet been extensively covered.


The ‘Fruit Stories’ project, which ran in 2008 and 2009, wanted to change this with interviews. The main focus was on the personal histories of the fruit growers. How was daily life as a fruit grower? How did they experience the major changes the fruit sector underwent? What were their personal lows and highs as growers? Secondly, the stories of other actors (fruit pickers, people working at the auction…) were also covered. The interviews were unlocked for the public in the book Sappig Verteld.


Snoeien van hoogstam (fotoarchief Boerenbond, KADOC)

Heuvelland, farmers at rest

Landbouwers op rust


Number of interviews: 20

Accessibility: unknown


Manual for mondelinge ‘geschiedenis van alledag’

Leren luisteren

Not much research has been done on the evolution of agriculture and rural life in the 20th century. The municipality of Heuvelland, CAG, heritage cell CO7 and the province of West Flanders therefore joined forces in 2010 to fill this gap.


As part of the project, some 20 testimonies and stories of retired farmers were recorded and processed. The most interesting testimonies were recorded on video. The results were cross-checked with and supplemented by various other sources, including agricultural censuses.

Based on the collected material, an extensive article was written, “Den boer op. A manual for conducting interviews and recording oral history was also developed as a result of the project.


Zaaimachine getrokken door paarden – WESTHOEK verbeeldt; fotonr.: HEU008501493

Fishermen’s wives

Nieuwstraat, 8400 Oostende, België - Objectnummer FT/F0028, Periode1865-1914 - Stadsarchief Oostende

Number of interviews: 27

Availability/accessibility: unknown

In autumn 2010, the province of West Flanders launched an oral history project on fisherwomen.
Along the entire Belgian coast, stories and testimonies were collected from a total of 27 fisherwomen.
These oral sources not only tell us what life as a fisherwoman means, they also shed light on the alleged differences in mentality between Belgian fishing ports, among other things. The Belgian coast stretches for barely 67 kilometres, yet there are significant differences in mentality between the fishing communities of the West Coast, East Coast and Ostend. Don’t call a Blankenbergen resident an Oostendenaar and don’t confuse a Zeebrugge resident with a Pannenaar! Each fishing community is proud of its own identity.


Originally, the intention was to preserve the stories and testimonies of the fisherwomen for further research. However, the wealth of material produced by the interviews deserves better. This autumn, therefore, the fruits of those interviews will be presented in three ways. There is a documentary on DVD about life as a fisherwoman and theatre performances and photo exhibitions. When we think of fishing, we usually spontaneously think of rough seamen with weather-beaten faces braving weather, wind and the rough sea to deliver us our portion of fresh fish. Behind each of these men, however, stands an equally strong woman. It is she who single-handedly looks after the family’s interests ashore during the long periods of her husband’s absence. Besides single-handedly raising the children and running the entire household, the fisherwoman often assists her husband in his work. For instance, she looks after his fluff bag and panger, knits nets, helps with fish sales or takes care of the financial side of things. Sometimes she then combines this with a job of her own. Clearly, the life of a fisherwoman is certainly as interesting as that of a fisherman. It is with this in mind that the Province of West Flanders decided to set up the project. It is supported by the municipalities of Blankenberge, Knokke-Heist, Koksijde, Nieuwpoort and Ostend. Katrien Vervaele, author of the book ‘Vissersvrouwen, 26 lives one story’ also lent her cooperation. The fisherwomen project is part of a cross-border European project on maritime heritage entitled ‘heritage and maritime memories in the 2 seas region’, or HMS for short. This project is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg IVA 2 Seas programme. Theatre performance ‘Vesche vis en nieuwe liefde’ Commissioned by the Province of West Flanders, actress Frieda Vanslembrouck interviewed 25 fisherwomen along our coast. The aim was to preserve the oral heritage of the woman behind the fisherman for the future. From these lively stories and from the book ‘Vissersvrouwen, 26 lives one story’ by Katrien Vervaele, Frieda Vanslembrouck and daughter Lise Bouttery purified a theatre performance that will dock in five Flemish coastal theatres this autumn. Photo exhibition ‘Fisherman’s wife’ Photographer Wouter Rawoens set out in the wake of this project to photograph fishermen’s wives, as he did earlier for Katrien Vervaele’s book. The result is an intriguing and surprising series of portraits

In the wake of the oral history project on Fisherwomen of the province of West Flanders, photographer Wouter Rawoens made an extension to the series of portraits he made for the book Fisherwomen, 26 lives a story 

by Katrien Vervaele. This gives the fisherwomen not only a voice, but also a face. (kvc)

Birds that don’t fly die



Number of interviews: 5

Short sound fragments

Accessibility source material: unknown


A project of COJG (Centre for Youth Development of Ghana). The project is carried out by Ghanaian and Belgian volunteers from COJG and Ghendtsche Tydinghen (H.H.K.G.). They are supported by the staff of Heemkunde Vlaanderen, Amsab-ISG, Trefpunt, FZO-VL and the Foreign Shop. The project received the support of the City of Ghent and the Province of East Flanders.

The life stories of some Ghanaians or Belgians with Ghanaian roots in Ghent and East Flanders.


30 years of Ghanaians in Ghent and East Flanders
A Ghanaian community has been growing in Ghent and East Flanders since 1982. Meanwhile, there is a visible group of Ghanaians in Ghent. With a heritage project, we want to refresh the memory of the Ghanaian community and the host East Flanders and Ghent society by exploring the history of the community and its link to the region.

Kneaded as a baker

De Oostendse bakker Desmedt aan het werk in zijn bakkerij, 1945 - 1968. Collectie Bakkerijmuseum.



Audiovisueel materiaal: Bakkerijmuseum

Aantal interviews: 35



In de toekomst wordt de audiovisuele collectie volledig gedigitaliseerd. Ondertussen is onze collectie video’s gedigitaliseerd door meemoo. Wat er allemaal in deze collectie zit, kun je via Het Archief alvast raadplegen.



Centrum Agrarische Geschiedenis (CAG) and Walter Plaetinck Bakery Museum in Veurne launched an interview project on baker generations in Flanders in mid-2010.

Staff from both heritage institutions interviewed some 35 baker families (with at least two generations alive) from the five Flemish provinces.


Life as a baker in words and images

The project probed the ins and outs of the bakery, shop and workshop. Working together within the family was also discussed, as was the social life of the bakery family. The information from the interviews was supplemented with insights from (professional) literature.


The final product of the collaboration was the exhibition ‘Kneaded as bakers. Baker generations and their history’, which ran from 11 June to 30 November 2011 at the Bakery Museum. A small brochure accompanied the expo.


Werknemers met bakkerswagens van bakkerij Goossens in Antwerpen
1934. Collectie Patrick Goossens.