The Sociaal Historisch Centrum voor Limburg (Centre for the Social History of Limburg) is an independent research facility connected to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS) at Maastricht University. SHCL provides a research infrastructure for comparative regional history by giving access to historical sources, maintenance of a library collection, developing research, publication of a yearbook, and a dissertation series (in Dutch). The SHCL is housed in the beautifully restored former Franciscan Church at Sint-Pieterstraat 7, the premises of the State and Municipal Archives.
SHCL stimulates and performs research in the field of historical border studies and the comparative history of the Meuse-Rhine border regions, focusing mainly in the 19th and 20th centuries. This comparative perspective is developed in close cooperation with universities in nearby Belgium and Germany. Some of the major topics addressed by the SHCL are the history of mining in Limburg, population and health, and migration.
SHCL staff participate in FASOS courses on historical methodology and honours courses on global social and economic history, which helps to place the local context into the global picture. Students are invited to apply for internships and to discuss topics for bachelor of master papers.
As a centre for regional history, SHCL is striving to reach a wider audience in the region with publications (on the history of mining, for instance), lectures, symposia, and exhibitions.
“Doing comparative regional history is an excellent way of researching the interconnections between the local and the global.”
“By building our ‘Maastricht Health Transition Database’ we are able to connect our local research to global issues in the history of population and health.”
“Demographic developments closely reflect almost every aspect of human life; I am most interested in relationships between health, gender, and development.”
“I found out that regional and cross-border research in memory studies can be very rewarding.”