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 1959 the Institute closed and the research section merged with the Institute of Medical Genetics at Uppsala University.

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.

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’s documents include accounts, annual reports and correspondence.

Further reading about the institute

Last modified: 2022-01-10