The Swedish Labour Movement’s Archives and Library is an independent foundation with the Swedish government, The Trade Union Confederation of Sweden and the Social Democratic Party as principals. We were founded in 1902 and combine an archive, a library and research promotion activities with our own journal, research, seminars and publications.
The first article of our statutes establishes that we are to “collect, care for and organize the material” as well as “facilitate for researcers, students and the general public to take part of the institution’s material”. This we achieve through the following:
Archive. More than 5,000 archives from political, trade union and other organisations and a variety of personal archives document the Swedish labour movement’s history. Furthermore, there are over 120 foreign archives. Extensive collections of photographs and slides, posters, films, sound recordings, banners, badges and objects convey additional historical information. Both new archives, and additions to older archives, are received every year.
Library. We are a scientific special library with a stock that reflects the trade union and the political labour movement’s history, theory and organisations. The collection consists of printed sources: documentation from organisational conferences and congresses, records, annual reports, trade union journals and many socialist movements’ newspapers and journals. Subject-wise, the collection of literature is more wide-ranging, and we can be described as a general social science library.
Overall, we administer an historic cultural treasure of national and international interest.
Research Promotion. A further task is to promote research on labour history, which we do through conferences, seminars, publications and participation in various external working groups. We provide tutors at universities and advice on research, essay topics and seminar planning. In order to increase knowledge of and interest in labour history, we also participate in exhibitions and publish the journal Arbetarhistoria. To spread the knowledge of historical sources and literature, we organize group tours.