Centre des Archives du communisme en Belgique
- Centre of Communist Archives in Belgium
- Centre des Archives communistes en Belgique
On 31 May 1961, the Joseph Jacquemotte Foundation a.s.b.l. (Fondation Joseph Jacquemotte or FMM, was founded. The institute was concerned with political, economic and social training, studies and research on the history of the workers' movement. Its main objectives were to organise conferences on the history of the workers' movement and to publish books, brochures and theoretical journals (e. g. the Cahiers marxistes from 1969 onwards).
In 1971, the Jacquemotte Foundation extended its activities to the creation and custody of an archive and library. Consequently, the PCB entrusted its archives to the FJJ. The classification of the PCB archives was begun as well as the cataloguing of the library, which was enriched by the collection of the Bibliothèque populaire, which had ceased its activities.
In the 1980s, after having been one of the main sources of the Foundation's publications, the archives also began to serve as basic materials for historical exhibitions. Nevertheless, the archive remained relatively inaccessible to researchers as only certain fonds were accessible and consultations had to be arranged by appointment.
From 1985 to 1986, under the scientific direction of José Gotovitch (Université Libre de Bruxelles) and Juul Verhelst (Archives générales du Royaume), three collections were sorted for the first time: the archives of the national congresses of the PCB-KPB (1919-1982); the library's books and brochures published in Belgium; and the directory of communist newspapers and magazines. The archives branch of the FJJ also took the opportunity to make the collections more accessible to students and researchers.
As of 1992, public access to the archives has been reassured. Moreover, a policy aiming at the preservation of fonds of organisations or private individuals has been put in place, which allowed the Centre to significantly increase its collections.
In 1994, the Council of the French Community adopted the proposal for a decree recognising private archival centres in the French Community of Belgium. It is within the framework of this new legislation that the FJJJ and its Centre des archives communistes en Belgique (CArCoB) submitted an application for recognition to the Community Government in May 1995. The recognition and grant agreement entered into force in 1996 and was renewable every three years. Since then, the archives – previously kept in the building where the central authorities of the former PCB-KPB, "18-20, avenue de Stalingrad" in Brussels, were located – have been housed in the former Maison de la Presse Communiste, at 33 rue de la Caserne, still in Brussels, where the editorial, administrative and printing staff of the daily Le Drapeau Rouge were located.
On 1 January 2001, CArCoB became an independent non-profit organisation. And since 1 January 2006, it has been contractually bound with the French Community of Belgium Wallonia-Brussels by a five-year agreement.
CArCoB works in consultation and collaboration with its Flemish counterpart, Documentatie en Archief van de Communistische Beweging (DACOB).
Archival and Other Holdings
In cooperation with its Flemish counterpart, the Dacob, the CArCoB manages the archives of the Communist Party of Belgium (1921-1989). It is also the repository of copies of documents relating to Belgium held in the archives of the Communist International in Moscow (RGASPI) as well as many of its activists' personal archives. The CArCoB’s archives are divided into four distinct sections: • Archives of the Parti communiste de Belgique (PCB) • PCB-related organisations • Other Belgian communist movementsAutres mouvements communistes en Belgique • Personal papers For a more detailed overview of the subjects covered in each of these sections, see :
The Centre's library contains several thousand periodicals published by its organisations. It also holds thousands of valuable brochures from all the workers' organisations in Belgium, all the publications of the PCB and JCB and many editions of the Communist Parties around the world.
Its poster and photo collections offer an overview of the struggles led by the PCB, the Communist Youth, the peace movement, cultural and social associations.
Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication
The Centre's collections are gradually being added to the PALLAS online catalogue, which can be accessed here:
Certain inventories of CArCoB's archival holdings can be consulted in PDF format on the Centre's website, while others are available in the reading room.
Archival collections that do not have a research tool are available for consultation on request.
Monday to Friday from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.
Before your first visit, it is advisable to contact the archivist by email, mail or telephone.
Conditions of Access
The reading room is accessible to the public during CArCoB's opening hours or by appointment. People with reduced mobility are invited to make an appointment with the archivist in advance.
Each visitor, on their first visit, must present a official document (identity card or other) attesting to their identity. They then complete a registration form with their name and contact information as well as outlining the purpose of their research and declaring that they accept the reading room regulations.
During each visit, researchers must the register.
For further details on CArCoB's reading room regulations, please see:
People with reduced mobility are invited to make an appointment with the archivist in advance of their visit.
Archivists at the Centre can carry out research on demand. The price of the research is set at 25 € / hour. The search request is subject to a prior feasibility assessment, is limited to 2 hours, and is payable in advance. The price does not include reproductions of documents (see below)
The price of photocopies is €0.12 for A4-sized copies and €0.20 for A3. The price for microfilm prints is €0.25.
Readers can make free photographic reproductions with their own cameras.
A reproduction right of 25 € per document is required for any reproduction for commercial purposes, whether by photocopying or photography.
CArCoB website consulted on 24/07/2019
Pierre-Alain Tallier (dir.), Gertjan Desmet & Pascale Falek-Alhadeff, Sources pour l'histoire des populations juives et du judaïsme en Belgique/Bronnen voor de geschiedenis van de Joden en het Jodendom in België, 19de-21ste eeuw, Brussel, ARA-AGR/Avant-Propos, 2016, 1,328 p.