What is GARDEN?

Guide on Archives regarding Environmental History in Belgium, 18th-20th century

Guide des Archives relatives à l’Histoire de l’Environnement en Belgique, 18e-20e siècle

Gids van de Archieven met betrekking tot de Ecologische Geschiedenis in België, 18de-20de eeuw

This blog is dedicated to Environmental History and specifically to archives related to this field that are preserved in repositories of State Archives and other public institutions in Belgium.

GARDEN is a research project supported by the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office and the State Archives of Belgium and State Archives in Provinces. It is a two years research program started in August 2011.

Two Attachés work on GARDEN: Danielle Caluwé (State Archives Leuven) and Kevin Troch (State Archives Mons). GARDEN is heading by Laurent Honnoré, Ph.D. in History (Catholic University of Louvain), head of service in State Archives Mons, and by Isabelle Parmentier, Professor of Early Modern History at University of Namur and chairwoman of the PolleN (Pôle de l’histoire environnementale de l’Université de Namur). Both are specialists in Environmental History of Belgium.

Since the 1980′s, Environmental History has grown steadily in Belgian historiography. However, a guide that could display the various archival sources available to lead studies in Environmental History in Belgium lacks in Belgian scientific landscape. GARDEN will correct this shortage.

The purposes of GARDEN are to list and explain archives produced by public institutions regarding to Environmental History between 1700 (ending of the Spanish Low Countries and increasing impact of human activities on their environment during this century and the two next) and 1980 (Federalization of Belgium) through detailed notices.

The rich Belgian archival heritage regarding environment is preserved essentially by the repositories of the State Archives but also by those of other public institutions such as museums, federal scientific institutions and laboratories, state universities, regional repositories (Flemish, Walloon and Brussel Capital regions), decentralized public institutions, provincial and local repositories, etc. These archives are largely unexploited by historians and professionals. GARDEN will take into account this unsuspected richness of the Belgian archives.


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Danielle Caluwé & Kevin Troch

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