The University Library has large collections of photographic material from the early 19th century up to the present. They are mainly photographs of topography and portraits. A very large number of our photographs form part of our extensive portrait collection. Most of the photographic portraits are from 1860-1940, but we have both older and more recent pictures too. The collections include extensive photographic documentation of the city of Uppsala and its surroundings from the 1860s up to around 1950. The collections also contain photographs from other places in Sweden and abroad.
Parts of the photographic collections are available through Alvin - platform for digital collections and digitised cultural heritage.
Collection of negatives
Collections of negatives from several well-known Uppsala photographers are held in our picture collections.
The oldest and most famous of the our photographic collections is the Osti Collection. It consists of glass negatives made by the German-born photographer Henri Osti (originally Heinrich Osti), who had a studio in Uppsala from 1859-1914. The collection comprises approximately 16,000 items and presents a world in pictures of people and places chiefly from late 19th century Uppsala.
The glass negatives left by Osti are cared for by the Uppland Museum and Uppsala University Library together. The Museum holds the topographical part of the collection, while the Library has responsibility for the portraits from Osti's photographic studio.
Another important photographic collection is photographer Per Kjellén's approximately 30,000 glass negatives, which portray the academic world in Uppsala up to around 1940. Studio Hagberg's collection of negatives is a big portrait collection from Uppsala spanning the years 1892-1960. The same is true of Ellen Claeson's collection (active 1904-1961) of around 26,000 negatives. In 1939 photographer Joel Andersson (born 1885) donated a collection of glass negatives to the University Library. It contained the negatives of A. Larsson (active 1892-1924) and Alfred Dahlgren (active 1890-1908). The glass negatives of Alfred Dahlgren's photographs of Uppsala 1901-02 and 1908 are however at the Uppland Museum.
The Uppsala photographer Gunnar Sundgren's (1901-1970) collection was donated to the Uppland Museum in the 1980s. The Museum looks after the topographical negatives while the considerable collection of portrait negatives is held at the University Library. The Section for maps and pictures also has a large number of photographic portraits taken by Sundgren, but also views mainly from Uppsala.