In Belgium look for libraries, archives, and museums. There is complexity at this point, because libraries are often connected to museums (e.g. Bibliothèque des Musées des Beaux-Arts de Belgique) and vice versa (e.g. Cabinet des Estampes in the Royal Library of Belgium).
In addition, if one is to find a particular legal document (an archive), one must know under which one of the numerous categories this particular document may be found.
Useful as a beginning are the following two books:
- Van Hove, Julien: Répertoire des Organismes de Documentation en Belgique; Bruxelles, Editions de la Librairie Encyclopédique, 1947.
- Veroughstraete, Jeannine: Inventaire des Centres belges de recherche disposant d’une bibliothèque ou d’un service de documentation. C.N.D.S.T., Bruxelles, 1994. (5th edition)
Though the first book is out of print, both may be consulted at the Royal Library Albert I (see below). The first book is invaluable because it contains under four headings (Centres de Documentation, Bibliothèques, Dépots d’Archives, and Musées) a cross-referenced and indexed guide to material from the smallest of towns to the departments of the Royal Library of Belgium. The second book is complementary to the Van Hove.
Of special interest to historians and art historians are the following booklets which give summaries of the tools of the trade (i.e. dictionnaires, encyclopédies, lexicons, répertoires, histoires générales, etc.) used in Europe :
- Delen, A.J.J. and Leclercq, René: Guide des Musées Belges, Antwerpen.
- Répertoire des Musées des Beaux-Arts et Collections Particulières Ouvertes au Public, listing châteaux, museums, and private collections throughout Belgium.
These, too, are now out of print but can be consulted at the Royal Library of Belgium.
The Center for American Studies on the 3rd floor of the Royal Library has undertaken the publication of guides to materials concerning the United States, and Belgian-American relations which go back before either the United States or Belgium existed as a State. American History in Belgium and Luxembourg: A bibliography by Skemer is available at the American Studies Center; a Guide to Americana in Belgian Archives by Dechamps and a Catalogue of Americana in the Royal Library Brussels by Margaret Nicholson have also been published.
For a complete list of publications: www.kbr.be/cas/services/publications.html
For more info: website Center of American Studies