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26 results
Fragment of the Old Västergötland Law
Äldre Västgötalagen (Old Västergötland law) is the oldest legal text written in Old Swedish in Latin script and the oldest of Sweden’s medieval provincial laws. The law was formulated around 1220 and was used in Västergötland in western Sweden. This manuscript fragment dates to about 1240. It contains the oldest record of the law and, along with another manuscript in the holdings of the National Library of Sweden dating from the early 1290s, is the only source for the law. The two leaves come from the same manuscript and ...
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National Library of Sweden
Revelations of Saint Bridget of Sweden
Saint Birgitta (or Bridget) of Sweden (circa 1303–73) was known for her revelations, which she reportedly wrote down in Swedish and then had translated into Latin by one of her two confessors. When she took ill, she changed her usual practice, and dictated her revelations to one of the confessors, who then translated them into Latin. In the manuscript collection at the National Library of Sweden is preserved a document that offers a unique insight into the origins of Birgitta’s revelations. It consists of three leaves of paper ...
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National Library of Sweden
A Dream Play
August Strindberg (1849–1912) was one of Sweden’s most important writers. From the 1870s until his death, he was a dominant figure in Swedish literary circles. Internationally, he is known for his plays. Strindberg grew up in Stockholm and studied at Uppsala University. From 1874 to 1882 he worked at the National Library of Sweden in Stockholm. It was there that he acquired much of his considerable knowledge of cultural history and literature. His breakthrough came in 1879 with publication of the novel The Red Room. Strindberg traveled extensively ...
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National Library of Sweden
Peter the Tramp
Luffar-Petter (Peter the tramp), a silent film made in Sweden in 1922, was the first film in which the Swedish-born actress Greta Garbo (1905–90) appeared. Still known by her original name of Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, Garbo was at the time a simple, unknown actress still learning her craft. This short comedy was the starting point from which Garbo was launched on a path to major roles in Swedish and Hollywood films and to stardom. Presented here is the film poster for Luffar-Petter, which was created some seven years after ...
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National Library of Sweden
Greta Garbo
Almost since the invention of the first camera, photographic techniques have been used both to capture and to alter reality. This is especially true of portrait photography, which has successfully transformed real persons into myth and legend with the help of carefully construed images. Henry B. Goodwin, the Bavarian landscape painter whose original name was Heinrich Buergel, was a scholar of Old Icelandic and one of the pioneers of portrait photography in Scandinavia. Goodwin adopted a new homeland and new name and contributed to the visual image of contemporary Swedes ...
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National Library of Sweden
General Map of the Swedish Kingdom
In 1683 Swedish cartographer Carl Gripenhielm (1655–94) was appointed the first director of the Swedish Land Survey. Much of Sweden was at that time sparsely populated and not well surveyed. Gripenhielm undertook an ambitious program of mapping and surveying, extending over several decades. The completion of detailed maps of Sweden’s agricultural land, forests, and surrounding seas coincided with the country’s economic development and its rise to great power status under the rule of strong monarchs and a centralized state bureaucracy. By the 18th century, Sweden’s cartographical ...
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National Library of Sweden
The Old People Mill
This 1852 single-sheet satirical print depicting “the old people mill” is part of a collection of 850 such broadsides printed in various Swedish cities and now preserved in the National Library of Sweden. These prints were often pasted inside the lids of chests in which people stored their belongings. The print on the left and the accompanying verses below are devoted to “the mill for old men," those on the right to “the mill for old women,” magical mills from which they return young and beautiful. In the era before ...
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National Library of Sweden
Horologium Olomoucense
Horologium Olomoucense is a collectarium (liturgical book of collects or prayers) that is recited during the Divine Office at horae (specific times) during the day. The manuscript was written for the cathedral chapter in Olomouc in the southern part of the present-day Czech Republic before the year 1150. A famous image depicting Pope Gregory I (circa 540–604) is found at the beginning of the liturgical texts. The pope is on a throne and dictating to his friend and pupil, Petrus Diaconus, who is sitting at his feet. He is ...
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National Library of Sweden
Olympic Games, Stockholm, 1912
The Stockholm Olympiad of 1912 marked the transition of the modern Olympic Games from what had been a modest-sized athletic competition into a global media event. The preparation and build-up for the games, the venues built especially for them, and media exposure all began to overshadow the fabric of the athletic competitions themselves. This media event emphasized both global and national dimensions and was meticulously conceived by the organizers. Recognizing that technology was evolving quickly and that visual images crossed borders unhindered, the committee mounted an innovative international media campaign ...
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National Library of Sweden
Abridged Version of “De arte phisicali de cirurgia”, “Fistula in ano”, Including an Obstetrical Treatise
Manuscript X 188 in the National Library of Sweden dates to around 1425–35 and contains two works by John Arderne (active 1307–70), an abridged version of De arte phisicali et de cirurgia (Of the physical arts and surgery) and Fistula in ano. Also included is a tract on obstetrics by another author, Muscio. De arte phisicali et de cirurgia is a textbook on medicine and surgery; Fistula in ano deals with rectal disorders. The manuscript is written in two long columns on a parchment roll that is 542 ...
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National Library of Sweden
View and Map of the Affair at Ratan, of August 20, 1809
This watercolor by the Swedish artist and draftsman Carl Gustaf Gillberg (1774–1855) depicts the fighting at Ratan on August 20, 1809 between the armies of Sweden and Russia. Contemporaneously with the Napoleonic wars, at the beginning of the 19th century Sweden and Russia fought what became known as the Finnish War, which had the effect of radically altering the political topography of the Baltic. Sweden’s defeat put an end to its domination in the region. Finland, previously a province of Sweden, became a grand duchy under the rule ...
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National Library of Sweden
The Fire at the Royal Castle in Stockholm, 1697
This engraving shows the fire of 1697 that destroyed Tre Kronor, the 16th–17th century royal castle that once housed the ruling monarchs of Sweden. As Sweden rose to become a great power, the dichotomy between its wealth, power, and ties to Europe and the spartan northern wooden structure that housed its rulers became ever more apparent. This was never more so than under Queen Christina (reigned 1632–54), who followed developments on the continent and succeeded in intellectually annexing Sweden to an international learned community. Scholars who made their ...
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National Library of Sweden
The Old Västergötland Law
Äldre Västgötalagen (Old Västergötland law) is the oldest legal text written in Old Swedish in Latin script and the oldest of Sweden’s medieval provincial laws. The law was formulated around 1220 and was used in Västergötland in western Sweden. Manuscript B 59 in the National Library of Sweden is the only complete copy of the law and is Sweden’s oldest book. The manuscript is a composite of 77 leaves, consisting of three parts bound together. It was written mainly by four scribes and dates to the beginning of ...
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National Library of Sweden
Selma Lagerlöf
This photograph by Henry B. Goodwin depicts the Swedish author Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf (1858–1940), the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Goodwin was born the son of a Bavarian landscape painter and originally named Heinrich Buergel. He was a scholar of Old Icelandic and one of the pioneers of portrait photography in Scandinavia. He adopted a new homeland and a new name and contributed to the visual image of contemporary Swedes by becoming the most-renowned society photographer in Sweden in his era. An advocate of ...
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National Library of Sweden
This Chart was Compiled on the Siberian Expedition under the Command of Navy Captain Bering from Tobolsk to the Chukotkan Corner
Vitus Jonassen Bering (1681–1741) was born in Denmark but spent most of his adult life in the Russian navy. In 1725, Tsar Peter I (Peter the Great) instructed Bering to undertake an expedition to find the point at which Siberia connected to America. In what became known as the First Kamchatka Expedition (1725–30), Bering traveled overland from St. Petersburg via Tobolsk to the Kamchatka Peninsula, where he had a ship, the Saint Gabriel, constructed. In 1728 he sailed north along the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula. In August ...
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National Library of Sweden
The Garden of the Virgin Mary
The 1510 manuscript Jungfru Marie örtagård (The Garden of the Virgin Mary) is the work of an anonymous nun at the Brigittine monastery at Vadstena in eastern Götaland, Sweden, and is the sole surviving source for the Swedish psalms, collects and lessons, hymns, and commentaries used in daily office by the nuns at the monastery. From the late 14th century to about 1530, the Vadstena monastery contributed significantly to the development of a nascent Swedish cultural identity, largely through the language that developed and was taught there. Most of the ...
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National Library of Sweden
Sweden Ancient and Modern
Erik Dahlberg´s Suecia antiqua et hodierna (Sweden ancient and modern) is the most renowned architectural and topographical documentation of Sweden during the age of imperial greatness. Dahlberg was an accomplished civil servant and draftsman. Aided by assistants under his aegis, he drafted a large number of sketches and drawings depicting settlements, manors, and fortifications, with the expressed purpose of enhancing the glory of Sweden in its efforts to be recognized as a European power. The drawings were later engraved by a number of leading contemporary European engravers. The first ...
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National Library of Sweden
Map of the Sea
The Carta marina of the Swedish geographer and historian Olaus Magnus is one of the earliest accurate cartographic depictions of the Scandinavian peninsula. Drafted in Rome in 1539, by one of the more prominent Scandinavian Catholics in higher ecclesiastical service, it contains detail that is lacking in many other early maps of the region. Originally intended for his Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus (A description of the Nordic peoples), the map was published some 15 years before the appearance of this majestic work. Olaus Magnus is generally regarded as the first ...
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National Library of Sweden
Early Writings of Carl von Linné
Significant works of young scholars at times can have great impact on the scholarly community, but remain relatively unknown for a broader public. The early works of Carl Linné (1707-78), annotated journals of his travels in Sweden and abroad, in which he laid the foundation for his efforts to devise a nomenclature for natural genera and species, were never published during his lifetime. The account of his travels in Lapland was published in English in 1811. The notes of his early travels in Bergslagen, Dalarna, and abroad were edited and ...
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National Library of Sweden
Immigration Handbook for Scandinavian Settlers in Canada, with Comprehensive Descriptions of Manitoba, the Northwest Territories and British Columbia
This immigration handbook was published by the Canadian Department of Interior in 1889 for the express purpose of recruiting settlers from Sweden. It includes an introduction to Canada and Canadian society, an immigration procedures handbook, and a topographical description of Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, and British Columbia. Special attention is paid to already-existing Scandinavian settlements.
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National Library of Sweden
Itinerary Book Kept During the Journey to East India, from October 18, 1746 to June 20, 1749
From 1746 to 1749, the Swedish rigged brig Götha Lejon sailed on a mercantile mission to Canton. Several accounts of what transpired have survived. This handwritten journal, compiled by Carl Johan Gethe, recounts the long journey to and from Canton and relates Gethe’s impressions of Cadiz, Canton, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and Java. The journal includes astute observations of daily life, descriptions of local customs and the great variety of forms of the Chinese language, and reflections on the journey itself, as well as an enthralling account of the ...
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National Library of Sweden