Our history

Our history based on the most important years, from the founding of the institution until today.

More detailed descriptions of our history are found in Arbetarrörelsens arkiv tjugo år (1923), Hävd och handling (1952), Arbetarhistoria nr 63-65 (90 år), Historia som uppdrag (pdf) (100 år).


Skylt: Stockholms ArbetarbibliotekThe Swedish Labour Movement’s Archives and Library was inaguerated as a part of Stockholm’s Workers’ Library and was the first labour movement archive in the world. The archival material of the labour movement was early on intended to be preserved for the future and an extensive collection work was launched. The initiator was Oscar Fredrik Borge (21/1 1862 – 4/1 1938), engaged in the labor movement and working at the Stockholm Labour Library – at the same time holding a PhD in biology with freshwater salmon as a speciality.


The archive was officially opened for the public on the 1st of November, and in the beginning only consisted of one small room in the Labour Library in The People’s House, at Barnhusgatan 14, 1st floor, in Stockholm. Oscar Borge was oficially employed on the 22nd of November.


The archive was transferred to the Trade Union Confederation of Sweden (Landsorganisationen i Sverige) and Social Democratic Party (SAP) in joint ownership on July 1. The statutes was approved on September 7, and states, among other things, the task of the institution “to collect and preserve all printed and written documents that in one way or another affect the Swedish labour movement, both the union and the political, as well as the more important pressures that concern the foreign labour movement “.

The archivist who manages the archive “… shall keep it open to the public at specified times”.



From the 1st of January the archive consists of two rooms in the People’s House,  Barnhusgatan 14, 4th floor.


Oscar Borge was employed full time. 


Oscar Borge, that up until 1927 being the sole employee, gets a co-worker: Ivar Dahlberg (as of December 1).


The archive was moved to Upplandsgatan 2, where it is housed in two rooms in the bottom floor, and five rooms on the first floor.


Oscar Borge dies on the 4th of January. Tage Lindbom was appointed the head of the archive on the 4th of November, 28 years of age and  Doctor of Political Science with the dissertation Den svenska fackföreningsrörelsens uppkomst och tidigare historia 1872-1900 (eng: The Swedish Trade Union Movement’s Origin and Past History 1872-1900).



The archive moved to new and larger premises at Upplandsgatan 4. From this time, the labour movement’s as well as the people’s movement’s archives are started all around the country. Our institution contribute through organizational work for their implementation. Today we only store, with rare exceptions, local material from areas outside of Stockholm.


Åke Wedin is appointed as the new head of the institution as of August 1.


The institution is reorganized and from July 1 becomes a foundation with the State, Trade Union Confederation and Social Democratic Party as co-trustees.


People’s movement’s archives are gathered as Folkrörelsernas arkivförbund, whose secretariat until September 2004 is with us, and thereafter at ArkivCentrum, Örebro län.


Lars Wessman is appointed as the new head of the institution as of December 1.


The institution celebrates 75 year and moves into new premises at Upplandsgatan 5. The same year, we start publishing the journal Meddelande från Arbetarrörelsens arkiv och bibliotek (MARAB).


We host the eleventh yearly conference of IALHI, which is being documented in Arbetarhistoria nr 16.


Our Research Council is formed.


The journal Meddelande från Arbetarrörelsens arkiv och bibliotek (MARAB) changes it’s name to Arbetarhistoria.


The library starts cataloging it’s collection in Libris, the Swedish National Catalogue.


Rudolf Meidner-prize for research in the union movement’s history is inagurated on the 23 of June, when Professor Rudolf Meidner turns 80 years old.


Karin Englund is appointed as the new head of the institution as of March 1.
The institution is once again moving to new premises, and once again to Upplandsgatan 4, by this time in 2 floors of offices.


The institution gets a distant archive depot, in a former mining cabin in Grängesberg, Dalarna. The storage facility was manned with 1-2 persons.


The library starts to use the catalogue system Mikromarc.


We celebrate our 100th anniversary by publishing three books: Klass i rörelse, Historia som uppdrag och Världen i källaren. We once again hosted the annual IALHI conference.


Lars Ilshammar is appointed as the new head of the institution.


The library abandons the old card system for circulation, and instead fully adopt to the catalgoue system integration circulation module.


We start the process to introduce CALM as a archival registering system.


The institution move from the premises by Norra Bantorget, central Stockholm, to Flemingsberg.


Lars Ilshammar ends his employment as head of the institution.


Nina Sjöberg is appointed as the new head of the institution.


The activities at the Grängesberg depot are scheduled to be  completed by the end of 2015. All materials were moved to Flemingsberg, and the banners and stands were moved to the depot at Runö Folkhögskola, Åkersberga. Parts of the materials stored at the Runö depot were moved to Flemingsberg.


Nina Sjöberg ends her employment as head of the institution.

Mikael Eivergård is appointed as the new head of the institution.