Upon arrival in the country each immigranted was obliged to register with the local authorities. These authorities created an information sheet collecting the basic information on the individual...
'Feuille de Route'
The last document in the file is a so-called 'feuille de route' which enabled Emilie-Sarah to travel to London. It contains a description of her looks.
File of Emilie Sarah Colles
This is the cover sheet of the indiviual file of Emilie, Sarah Colles. On the cover sheet we find her name and number but also some information on her network and the fact that she was expelled from the country because she ran a brothel (the 'Prox' in the right upper corner indicates 'proxénète' or procurer).
A 19th century Antwerp brothel
Identity card of an Italian Immigrant
As our project develops we will be adding more case studies and examples of individual foreigners files!
The merchant's trajectory
In each commune, the merchant received a stamp from the local authorities indicating his presence in the region.
a way of life
Some merchants carried several booklets which streched over months or even years. The booklets point out the very mobile, nomadic lifestyle.