When the university's activities became more widespread, the need for literature also increased, and in the early 1900s several libraries at different addresses in Stockholm were founded. To counteract the development of a fragmented library at Stockholm University, a decision was taken in the 1960s to unite all the libraries into a common organisation.

Quick Overview

The Stockholm University Library is formed

During the 1970s, the library was provided with a common premise on the new Frescati campus, and this became The Stockholm University Library. The additional branch libraries remained in the inner city. The Stockholm University Library became the first major research library in Sweden.

In conjunction with the higher education reform in 1977, the Stockholm University Library became an independent organisation, and as part of this, a new, main library was planned and built. It was designed by Ralph Erskine. King Carl XVI Gustaf inaugurated the Main Library in 1983.

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The Ten Library Units

Today, The Stockholm University Library consists of seven library units.

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The Book Collections

Today, The Stockholm University Library book collection includes printed and electronic books, and journals and maps in the humanities, social sciences, law and science. The collection has gradually been expanded with a number of significant scientific specialised libraries.

Frescati Library began to take shape in the early 1970s. Initially stock was built around a few larger faculty libraries; the social science, law, humanities and the Slavonic Library, which were previously located in the inner city, mostly in and around the Observatory.

The scientific institutions gradually moved with their libraries to the campus at Frescati, and the smaller institutional libraries were merged into larger units.

In 1983, the University received its first joint library building on the new campus at Frescati, adjacent to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Bergius Botanic Garden, and the Swedish Museum of Natural History. There are still nine unit libraries outside The Frescati Library. Most are located within the university campus and some along with their respective institutions around Stockholm.

The Frescati Library collections have been supplemented by a number of scientific special libraries: The Royal Academy of Sciences Library, The National Psychological Educational Library, The Library of Teacher Education at Stockholm University, and most recently, The Graphic Institute Library.

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The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

The Royal Academy of Sciences Library (KVAB) was nationalised in 1978, and the collections have been integrated since then with the Stockholm University Library. When the main library was completed in 1983, the entire library was transferred to the new library building, including approximately fourteen kilometres of books and journals.

The agreement between the Royal Academy of Sciences and the Swedish state stipulates that all books printed before 1800 are owned by the academy, but are consigned by the university library. KVAB contains an outstanding fine collection of older scientific literature with nearly complete collections in areas such as botany, zoology, mineralogy and geology, but also mathematics, physics and astronomy.

The collection of journals more or less includes all natural science journals of significance dating back to the 1600s.

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The European Documentation Centre (EDC)

In 1995, The Stockholm University Library was designated the European Documentation Centre by the European Commission. You may read more about the EDC assignment here.

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The Psychological-Pedagogical Library

The Psychological-Pedagogical Library, formerly know as the National Psychological Educational Library (SPPB), is a specialist library within the fields of psychology and education. It has its origins in the Education Library, which was founded in 1885. The library served as a branch library to The Stockholm University Library until 2000, and since 2003, it has been integrated into the university library collections.

Besides literature in psychology and pedagogy, there is a comprehensive collection of textbooks and educational curricula. The textbook collection includes textbooks from the 1700s onwards. The collections are also a deposit of books and magazines from the Swedish Psychoanalytical Association, SPF.

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The Library of the National Institute for Working Life

Following a decision in 2007 between Stockholm University, The Department of Education and

The National Institute for Working Life, the books, journals and reports of The Library of the National Institute for Working Life are available at the University Library. Most of the collection is searchable in Libris, among university library resources, and The Stockholm University Library.

The operation of the database Arbline, which includes reports, articles and other searchable work-related literature, was taken over by the Arbetsmiljöhögskolan at the University of Lund. They have also taken over smaller sections of the literature collection, including theses and reprints. Literature requests from other libraries with Arbline as the source should be conducted through Libris as normal interlibrary loans. Local orders at The Stockholm University Library can be made through the university library resources.

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The Library of Teacher Education at Stockholm University

The Library of Teacher Education at Stockholm University specialises in the educational sciences. In Autumn 2011, the library’s collections were integrated into the University Library's collections along with special collections of older educational material. The materials can be found among the university’s library resources.

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The NOD Library and The Arrhenius Library closed in 2016

By the end of December 2016,the Arrhenius Library closed due to rebuilding. That same month, the NOD library closed. Course literature from both libraries is now available in the Frescati Library.

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