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Special collections

A treasure trove in Lund!
The University Library is one of Sweden’s largest and oldest research libraries, with special collections spanning more than two thousand years.

Patent of nobility, De la Gardie
A patent of nobility from 1629, granted by Charles I of England to the brothers Jacob and Patrik Forbus. From the De la Gardie collection.

The collections have been built up through donations and acquisitions since the 1600s, attracting researchers from all over the world. For example, the library has more than 3.5 kilometres of shelving dedicated to manuscripts and archive documents, thousands of old printed books from the mid-1400s to the end of the 1700s, as well as image collections which currently contain more than one million photographs and graphic documents.

For the past decade, Lund University Library has worked actively on the digitisation of much-requested material, to make it directly accessible online. Currently more than 20 000 photographs are available from the University Library’s image database, while several of the Library’s most famous manuscript collections have been entirely digitised. The University Library’s special collections, however, are too extensive ever to be completely digitised, but anyone can order material for study in the library’s Special Collections Reading Room. The University Library’s special collections are not only meant for the University’s researchers, but for all those interested in our cultural heritage.

The library’s special collections are also continuously growing. Every year, the University Library accepts new donations of personal archives, photographic collections and documents bequeathed by people who were active within science, art or culture. The aim is both to make the material available for the researchers of today and to preserve it for future generations.

Photo of actress Asta Nielsen
A portrait of the Danish actress Asta Nielsen. From the Nielsen, Asta collection.


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Donate materials to the University Library

Do you have material which may be interesting for research and future studies? Please contact the Section of Manuscripts and Special Collections: handskrift [at] ub [dot] lu [dot] se.