Plaatsen van geschiedenis | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 133, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



Recent studies have shown that the states that formed in post-revolutionary Europe were eager to found national archives. Historical research in those archives fostered national unity and stability. Limited research on Belgian archival history has suggested a different picture: under the ‘occupation’ by both the French Empire and the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, ‘Belgian’ archives were plundered. This article offers another interpretation. While the head of the wanted to move valuable documents to Paris, the Dutch government’s lack of archival policy meant decentralization continued. A reorganization of the State Archives in Brussels was not carried through. Local historians were encouraged in their archival interest by being appointed as city archivists. As a result a locally-rooted historiographical archival organization emerged in the ‘Belgian’ provinces of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.


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