Uppsala University Library

The archives of the State Institute for Racial Biology

The Swedish State Institute for Racial Biology was established in Uppsala in 1922, following a parliamentary decision. One of the Institute’s promoters was Herman Lundborg (1868-1943), who became its first director.

Lundborg was succeeded in 1935 by Gunnar Dahlberg (1893-1956) who, unlike Lundborg, was highly critical of racial biology as a scientific method. As a result, the activities at the Institute changed and the research undertaken there became engaged in medical genetics and social medicine instead of racial biology. In 1958 the Institute closed and the research section merged with the Institute of Medical Genetics.

Documents from the activities at the Institute were later delivered to the Uppsala University Archives. The Institute’s archives are now held by Uppsala University Library. The records also include the Institute’s photographic collection, which was handed over to the University Library in 1981 by the Institute of Medical Genetics. In the University Library you will also find publications by and about the Institute, as well as its own library. A large collection of Herman Lundborg’s correspondence is also preserved in the University Library. Taken together, all these collections make it possible to study the Institute’s activities.

The Institute’s collection of photographs has been one of the most used collections in the Library. Containing more than 12,000 photographs, taken by or on behalf of the Institute during the period 1916-1935, it also includes portrait photographs sent to the Institute by individuals. The Institute used the photographs as a tool to categorize people. The Institute’s documents, which include accounts, annual reports and correspondence, have attracted just as much interest as the photographs.

A separate list is available for the photographs.

Literature

  • Björkman, Maria, Den anfrätta stammen: Nils von Hofsten, eugeniken och steriliseringarna 1909-1963, Lund 2011
  • Broberg, Gunnar, Statlig rasforskning : en historik över Rasbiologiska institutet, Lund 1995
  • Broberg, Gunnar & Tydén, Mattias, Oönskade i folkhemmet : rashygien och sterilisering i Sverige, Stockholm 1991
  • Dahlgren, Eva F., Fallna kvinnor: när samhällets bottensats skulle lära sig veta hut,  Stockholm, 2013
  • Dahlgren, Eva F., Farfar var rasbiolog : en berättelse om människovärde igår och idag, Stockholm 2002
  • Furuhagen, Björn, Den svenska rasbiologins idéhistoriska rötter: en inventering av forskningen, Stockholm 2007
  • Hagerman, Maja, Det rena landet : om konsten att uppfinna sina förfäder, Stockholm 2006
  • Hagerman, Maja, Käraste Herman : rasbiologen Herman Lundborgs gåta, Stockholm 2015
  • Kjellman, Ulrika, A Whiter Shade of Pale, i: Scandinavian Journal of History, 2013, 38:2, s. 180-201, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03468755.2013.769458
  • Lindquist, Bosse, Förädlade svenskar : drömmen om att skapa en bättre människa, Stockholm 1991
  • Lundmark, Lennart,  Allt som kan mätas är inte vetenskap : en populärhistorisk skrift om Rasbiologiska institutet, Stockholm 2007
  • Lundmark, Lennart, ”Lappen är ombytlig, ostadig och obekväm” : svenska statens samepolitik i rasismens tidevarv, Bjurholm 2002

Contact

E-mail: ask.library@ub.uu.se
Phone: 018-471 39 00
twitter: @fragauub
Phone and chat available weekdays 9-18.