Exhibitions 1994-2004

Through the years Uppsala University Library has produced many exhibitions on different themes. You can find more information on the exhibitions from the year 1994 to 2004 here.
You can still buy catalogues from past exhibitions at the shop in Carolina Rediviva's foyer.  A few of them are available to buy online.

Harry Martinson 100 years

6 May 2004 - 4 May 2005

On the 6th May, 100 years after the birth of Harry Martinson, the exhibition "Far from harbours and land ... Harry Martinson 100 years" was opened by Stefan Sandelin - the editor of the author's complete works - in the foyer of Carolina Rediviva. Harriet Martinson, Harry Martinson's daughter, honoured the inauguration with her presence. Martinson's personal papers are preserved at Carolina Rediviva. All in all there are tens of thousands of papers, or around twelve metres of shelving, containing letters, manuscripts, notebooks, travel photographs, newspaper cuttings and publishers' contracts, all of which bear witness to a life of immense literary creativity.

Harry Martinson was a child of the parish who went on to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, he was also a sailor and a member of the Swedish Academy. The exhibition highlights this nature-loving author's "wanderlust philosophy", beginning with his childhood, then at sea and his years as a sailor and in his environmentally aware poetry.

A book-harvest from the vineyard

St Birgitta, her monastery and its library
9 May 2003 - 8 April 2004 - Carolina Rediviva

Uppsala University Library’s contribution to the St Birgitta jubilee year 2003 was an exhibition, where the material almost exclusively came from the Library’s own collection of manuscripts and books. It covered the entire period of time, but the emphasis was on the flourishing period of the mediaeval Vadstena monastery. The three large wall display cases each had a separate theme:

  • “Her voice shall be heard across the world...” – St Birgitta and the Revelations
  • “I should plant myself a new vineyard...” – Vadstena Monastery and the Order of the Redeemer
  • "Liber Monasterii sancte Marie Virginis in Waztenom" – The monastery library in Vadstena

In the brother’s part of the monastery, there was a well-ordered theological library; the remainders preserved of the book collection can mostly be found at Uppsala University Library. A former Uppsala student’s transcription of theological lectures from 1477 forms the final point.


From papyrus and ink to link

From plant to screen – from ink to link

4 May 2001 - 30 April 2003 - Carolina Rediviva

Fixing thoughts, ideas and messages in writing and partaking of the written word through reading constitutes one of the prime achievements of humankind. The exhibition reflected the history of books and writing, or the art of leaving traces, and concentrated on three themes: background, colour and form.  

  • Background – In the beginning was the Word, and the Book arrived only much later. It has been written on lots of different materials: papyrus, parchment and paper, but also stone, clay, wood, palm leaves, cloth and lots of others have been used. In the West, parchment was replaced by paper only when the art of printing started to take over. By then, it had been long established in the Orient; first in China, then among the Arabs.
  • Colour – Fixing the word on paper, making the parchment shine with purple, gilding the red skin, all this requires special colours. It can be a simple ink, or the most intricate illumination highlighted with gold leaf. The difference between an alchemist and an ink manufacturer could be wafer thin. Who first thought of using a louse to make the colour red? Charcoal in ink and in a copying machine – the basic principle for letter production is today the same as 2000 years ago. It is just the trick of attaching the letters that has changed.
  • Form – What is a book? Our book today, and for a long time, is the page-turning book, codex. Perhaps one day it will be replaced by reading tablets that transmit electronically stored text. We roll up one history, turn the leaf, and continue onwards.  


The calendar - a microcosm

An exhibition in peepshow format

2000 – Carolina Rediviva

It was about time measured in astronomic numbers and in astrological directions for all possible activities in life. It was a time when prophecies about weather and disease were repeated in 19-year moon cycles. Of times when the annual rhythm followed the sign of the rune staff. When all forecasting signs in early mediaeval calendars directed our doings and bleedings. In the hands of doctors, the almanac was born from mediaeval astrology. Almost a contemporary of the art of printing, the almanac and the Bible are among the first items printed.


Sweden and the Islamic world - a cultural heritage

19 May 1999 - 20 April 2001 - Carolina Rediviva 


The Holy Book

22 November 1999 – 2000 - Carolina Rediviva

The exhibition was shown in Uppsala University Library as a result of the new Swedish Bible translation, Bibel 2000. This was one of the arrangements for the Swedish Research Council’s nationwide event “Popular Science Week”, 21 – 27 November 1999. Christer Åsberg, Secretary to the Bible Commission, opened the exhibition.

Unfortunately, the exhibition catalogue is sold out.


1648 - Queen Kristina and Hugo Grotius

28 April 1998 - 23 April 1999 - Carolina Rediviva

Robinson-Robinson - 70 x Robinson

11 November 1998 – 1999 - Carolina Rediviva


Scientific achievements from 6 centuries

23 April 1997 - 1998 - Carolina Rediviva

Gunnar Ekelöf

20 May - 30 September 1994 - Carolina Rediviva