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Arkivens roll i konstruktionen av nationalstaten Sverige : en undersökning av landsarkivens instiftande

Niemi, Sofie LU (2016) ABMM34 20161
Division of ALM
Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences
Abstract
This study describes and discusses the founding of the Regional Archives (landsarkiv) in Sweden. My main focus is to examine to what extent the nationalist movement and the construction of the nation state underlay the founding of the Regional Archives and how it affected the development of the archives. Sweden has seven regional archives. The first, Vadstena Regional Archive, was founded in 1899 and three others, the Regional Archives in Lund, Uppsala and Gothenburg, in the first years of the 20th century. Sweden was not the first country in Europe to develop public archives in regions of the country as a complement to the national archive – France, Denmark, Norway and Belgium together with other countries had already made way.

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This study describes and discusses the founding of the Regional Archives (landsarkiv) in Sweden. My main focus is to examine to what extent the nationalist movement and the construction of the nation state underlay the founding of the Regional Archives and how it affected the development of the archives. Sweden has seven regional archives. The first, Vadstena Regional Archive, was founded in 1899 and three others, the Regional Archives in Lund, Uppsala and Gothenburg, in the first years of the 20th century. Sweden was not the first country in Europe to develop public archives in regions of the country as a complement to the national archive – France, Denmark, Norway and Belgium together with other countries had already made way.

This study is based on a text analysis of different documents connected with the founding of the Regional Archives. Also some documents not directly connected to the archives, but thematically relevant, are part of the study. The first documents are from the 1860’s and the last are from the first years of the 20:th century. The documents consist of government documents, official letters and articles in newspapers and magazines.

The general theory behind the study is social constructionism. The nation state is seen as a construction constructed by the leading social classes in the society. The beginning of the nation state is seen in the 18th century during the Enlightenment and the French revolution, when the absolute monarchy was questioned. I also use institutional theory to analyse the National Archive – the founder of the Regional Archives – as an institution. The thesis is also influenced by theories about museums and especially National museums, since the state archives and the state museums as institutions are similar to each other.

The national Romantic Movement and the increasement of interest for people’s history, dialects, peasantry and the life outside the cities are also interesting aspects of the forming of the Regional Archives and the development of the nationalist movement. Another aspect of the founding of the Regional Archives is that of democracy. One of the arguments presented in the official documents regarding the founding of the Regional Archives is based on the “principle of public access to official records”, already 1766 a part of the “Swedish Freedom of the Press Act”. Although this aspect is always called upon in discussions, the public access to the archival documents does not seem as important as the historians’ access to them. With historians writing national history it is much easier to make people feel as parts of the same nation and culture. Seemingly contradictory it is also important to recognize regional differences within the nation, not as separated units, but as building blocks that together form the nation state Sweden. (Less)
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author
Niemi, Sofie LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
The role of the archives in the construction of the national state Sweden : An analysis of the founding of the regional archives
course
ABMM34 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
archival studies, regional archives, social constructionism, nationalism, institutional theory, nation state, institutionell teori, socialkonstruktivism, arkiv, arkivvetenskap
language
Swedish
id
8875379
date added to LUP
2016-06-16 09:21:48
date last changed
2016-06-16 09:21:48
@misc{8875379,
  abstract     = {This study describes and discusses the founding of the Regional Archives (landsarkiv) in Sweden. My main focus is to examine to what extent the nationalist movement and the construction of the nation state underlay the founding of the Regional Archives and how it affected the development of the archives. Sweden has seven regional archives. The first, Vadstena Regional Archive, was founded in 1899 and three others, the Regional Archives in Lund, Uppsala and Gothenburg, in the first years of the 20th century. Sweden was not the first country in Europe to develop public archives in regions of the country as a complement to the national archive – France, Denmark, Norway and Belgium together with other countries had already made way.

This study is based on a text analysis of different documents connected with the founding of the Regional Archives. Also some documents not directly connected to the archives, but thematically relevant, are part of the study. The first documents are from the 1860’s and the last are from the first years of the 20:th century. The documents consist of government documents, official letters and articles in newspapers and magazines. 

The general theory behind the study is social constructionism. The nation state is seen as a construction constructed by the leading social classes in the society. The beginning of the nation state is seen in the 18th century during the Enlightenment and the French revolution, when the absolute monarchy was questioned. I also use institutional theory to analyse the National Archive – the founder of the Regional Archives – as an institution. The thesis is also influenced by theories about museums and especially National museums, since the state archives and the state museums as institutions are similar to each other. 

The national Romantic Movement and the increasement of interest for people’s history, dialects, peasantry and the life outside the cities are also interesting aspects of the forming of the Regional Archives and the development of the nationalist movement. Another aspect of the founding of the Regional Archives is that of democracy. One of the arguments presented in the official documents regarding the founding of the Regional Archives is based on the “principle of public access to official records”, already 1766 a part of the “Swedish Freedom of the Press Act”. Although this aspect is always called upon in discussions, the public access to the archival documents does not seem as important as the historians’ access to them. With historians writing national history it is much easier to make people feel as parts of the same nation and culture. Seemingly contradictory it is also important to recognize regional differences within the nation, not as separated units, but as building blocks that together form the nation state Sweden.},
  author       = {Niemi, Sofie},
  keyword      = {archival studies,regional archives,social constructionism,nationalism,institutional theory,nation state,institutionell teori,socialkonstruktivism,arkiv,arkivvetenskap},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Arkivens roll i konstruktionen av nationalstaten Sverige : en undersökning av landsarkivens instiftande},
  year         = {2016},
}