Klaas Van Gelder
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Personal profile


Klaas Van Gelder is an assistant professor in early modern history and a member of the SHOC research group, as well as archivist at the State Archives in Brussels. He studied history at Ghent University where he obtained his MA in 2005 and completed his PhD in 2012. Before joining the VUB in 2021, he worked as an FWO postdoctoral fellow at Ghent University, held a six month’s Friedrich Plaschka-fellowship (funded by the Österreichischer Austauschdienst) at the University of Vienna in 2014, and was a Lise Meitner-fellow (funded by the Austrian Research Foundation FWF) at the same institution from 2016 until 2018. From 2019 until 2021 he lectured both at Ghent University and at University of Antwerp, and worked as a research coordinator in the Brain project LORD (State Archives Ghent) in 2020-2021. Since 2023 he is an editorial board member of Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis and board member of the Vlaams-Nederlandse Vereniging voor Nieuwe Geschiedenis. Prior to that, he was the treasurer of the historical association Standen & Landen/Anciens Pays et Assemblées d’Etats from 2014 to 2023, and a board member of the Dutch-Belgian Werkgroep 18e Eeuw from 2014 until 2020.


Klaas Van Gelder’s research encompasses social, political and cultural history of early modern Europe. Within the framework of the FED-tWIN project ACCESS, he currently focuses on access to early modern justice and the profile of litigants in law courts at different levels of society (urban, regional, seigneurial), with a regional focus on the Duchy of Brabant. His further research interests include revolts and revolutions, ritual and ceremony and its legal and political functions, and legislation and the regulation of everyday life in the early modern society. He is the author of Regime Change at a Distance: Austria and the Southern Netherlands Following the War of the Spanish Succession (1716-1725) (Leuven 2016) and 'Politie' in de heerlijkheid. Gids en repertorium van heerlijke politiereglementen in het graafschap Vlaanderen, 13e-18e eeuw (Brussels 2023), and the editor of More Than Mere Spectacle: Coronations and Inaugurations in the Habsburg Monarchy during the Eighteenth & Nineteenth Centuries (New York 2021).

External positions

Archivist, Rijksarchief België

1 Oct 2021 → …


  • free keyword
  • political history
  • Social History of Law
  • Early Modern Studies


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