Waller Collections

The Waller Collections include extensive collections of books, off-prints and manuscripts, with an emphasis on the history of medicine and science. Swedish physician Erik Waller (1875-1955) gained an international reputation as perhaps the leading collector of books in modern times.

Lisez à propos de Erik Waller et sa collection d’autographes en français

More about Erik Waller

Bibliotheca Walleriana

The collection holds over 20,000 titles and is considered to be among the world's greatest and most valuable collections of literature on medical history. Erik Waller began in 1910 systematically to collect older medical and scientific literature. His ambition was to acquire all books and works that had been influential in the history of medicine and related subjects. In the collection there are 150 incunables, i.e. printed books from the 15th century, the first decades of the printing press. Many of them are extremely rare. Apart from medicine, the collection includes works on physics, chemistry, botany, zoology and astronomy. The book collection was donated to Uppsala University Library in 1950.


Bibliotheca Walleriana : the books illustrating the history of medicine and science collected by dr Erik Waller and bequeathed to the Library of the Royal University of Uppsala: a catalogue / compiled by Hans Sallander. - 2 vols. - Stockholm : Almqvist & Wiksell, 1955. - (Acta Bibliothecae R. Universitatis Upsaliensis; 8-9).

A minor part of the Waller book collection is catalogued in the Swedish national library catalogue Libris:


Sallander, Hans, "The Bibliotheca Walleriana in the Uppsala University Library". In: Nordisk tidskrift för bok- och biblioteksväsen, vol. 38, 1951, p. 49-74.

Waller Manuscript Collection

Waller's collection of manuscripts is one of the greatest autograph collections in history. It consists of original handwritten manuscripts first and foremost of doctors and scientists, but also from the fields of arts, philosophy, politics and inventors and discoverers from all corners of the world. There are 38,000 items. The time span covered in the collection is from the Middle Ages to the 1950s. The collection was acquired by the University Library in 1955. It consists mainly letters, but there are also reports, lecture notes, medical prescriptions and consultations and much more. See an overview of the subcollections in Waller manuscript Collection.

With initial funding from the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation and later with support from Uppsala University, a thorough work on Waller's collection of manuscripts could be started in 2000. Today all the manuscripts have been catalogued and digitised, and available online. Thus Dr Waller's autograph collection has been made freely available for research the world over.

Waller Manuscript Collection (in Alvin)

Waller Collection of Off-Prints

The collection of off-prints is a good complement to the book collection and extends from the 18th century to the mid 20th century.

Last modified: 2022-11-29