Autograph Collections

An autograph collection is a collection of scripts written in the writer's own hand. They can be anything from single signatures or notes and doodles to long letters or a poem. The value of the document – or autograph – lies in its authenticity.

Access our autograph collections

There are a number of autograph collections at Carolina. They have either been bought or been donated by enthusiastic autograph collectors who have at some point managed to acquire these valuable manuscripts, often one at a time. Hidden in these autograph collections are original letters from some of the world's most famous historical people.

Some of our autograph collections:

  • Waller's autograph collection (also known as Waller's manuscript collection)
    It contains around 38,000 autographs from all around the world. Mainly they are letters from doctors and scientists, but also from prominent humanists, politicians, inventors and explorers. Some examples are: Ampère, Pasteur, Linnaeus, Tycho Brahe, Einstein, Kant, Newton, Darwin, Voltaire, Napoleon and James Cook. The collection spans the period from the Middle Ages to the 1950s. All the documents have been scanned and are accessible in Alvin.
  • Barthelson's autograph collection
    Mainly Swedes from the 16th century up to 1900.
  • Dörfler's autograph collection
    A collection of letters written by botanists, 16th to 20th century.
  • Gustafsson's autograph collection (Y 6:1-48)
    Mainly Swedes, but also an occasional foreign autograph, 1500 -1960s.
  • Sahlgren's autograph collection (Y 5:1-16)
    Mainly Swedes, 17th-20th century.

See also: the Y-collection in the manuscripts subject catalogue.

Some of the collections are digitised and can be viewed in Alvin - platform for digital collections and digitised cultural heritage. If you would like to study material that is not yet digitised, you are welcome to visit us and study the material on site. 

Last modified: 2022-07-21