As from Tuesday 3 November 2020, the State Archives shall again close all reading rooms and premises accessible to the public. The health crisis and the additional measures in the fight against COVID-19 force us once again to enter a period of minimal service. However, behind the screens we remain at your disposal and more than ever committed to making our archives accessible online for research.
Op 1 September 2020, a common research project of the State Archives and the University of Antwerp titled DIGHIMAPS was launched. In the future, meticulous georeferencing and vectorisation of maps and (semi-)automatic recognition of their content shall enable us to link more and more maps to other digital contents. Building on the work already undertaken in digitisation and geolocation, this FED-tWIN project examines the potential of digital cartographic collections as a key to our new digital environment.
Due to the Covid 19 crisis, the State Archives are forced to temporarily adjust their services on Saturdays. So far, four reading rooms were open to the public on the first Saturday of the month: in Mons, Namur, Liège and Arlon. For the next four months, the reading rooms in the aforementioned State Archives will also be closed on the first Saturday of the month. This means September 5th , October 3rd, November 7th and December 5th. A possible reopening at the beginning of 2021 will be communicated in good time. Thank you for your understanding.
At the end of September 2019 data experts from across Europe gathered at the UK Data Archive (UKDA) for the annual CESSDA Expert Seminar (CES 2019). Belgium was represented by the SODA project, one of whose researchers gave a presentation about the new Open Data and Public Sector Information directive.
On 18 October 2019, the colloquium 'Saving the Web: the Promise of a Belgian Web Archive' took place in KBR. The colloquium was organised by the researchers of the PROMISE research project that aims to develop a federal strategy for the preservation of the Belgian web. Web archiving is clearly a 'hot topic' because the event attracted 107 participants from Belgium and abroad. The public was very varied and consisted of people active in the archival or library sector, supranational, federal, regional and local government services, research institutions and universities, genealogy, ...
“Cooperation, and even more so international cooperation, can be considered as a very positive factor in every regard”: With these words, National Archivist Karel Velle welcomed some hundred participants on March 18th to the launch event of the Time Machine project, a pan-European initiative and flagship project of the European Commission.
On 10 October 2016, the Belgian State Archives organised a congress about the impact of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) on the core activities of archive services and on their relationship with citizens and users. Eminent speakers from abroad, senior public servants, legal practitioners and archivists with in-depth expert knowledge and international experience reflected on the priorities of archive services, on issues and opportunities to live up to criteria such as accessibility, reliability, authenticity and completeness, but also on tools and procedures to defend and facilitate the very important right to information. The congress proceedings are now available!
The State Archives holds a real treasure of cartographic materials, but handing out original maps and plans in the reading rooms bears the risk of deteriorating the state of conservation of these documents. Indeed, repeated unrolling and rolling-up of these maps and plans that are sometimes of considerable size has taken its toll on the documents, which called for a large-scale digitization campaign. In recent years, some 60,000 maps and plans were digitised. This number increases steadily. Roughly 44,000 of these digital images have been processed and are now available for research.