The University Library: a treasure house of knowledge for all

For 400 years, Uppsala University Library has played a key role in the dissemination of knowledge both within and beyond the University. The collections range from thousand-year-old manuscripts, early printed material and pictures to scholarly publications. Digitisation can make these treasures available to everyone.

The University’s research and the University Library’s collections are available both digitally and physically through active publishing operations and scholarly communication. The University Library is at the forefront of digital developments and aspires to be a nationally leading digital library environment. The library looks after and develops its unique collections to make them accessible for education, research and the world around. In addition to extensive resources for digital media, the University Library has six million printed books that can be found via the library’s search engines. Carolina Rediviva library also contains large cultural heritage collections in the form of early printed material, manuscripts, pictures, maps and music scores. The library has a vital responsibility to preserve these treasures and make them available for research, society and future generations.

The library’s open platform for digital collections and digitised cultural heritage – Alvin – now contains nearly 200,000 items. However, the process of digitisation has only just begun. So far, only a fraction of the collections are available online. The need for digitisation is increasing, partly so as to offer new opportunities for study and research, and partly to protect the fragile material.

The goal is to continue to develop the digital platforms for both scholarly publications and cultural heritage collections. However, the library does not just want to continue to make its material freely accessible online. The aim is to further increase opportunities to use digitised material by developing digital and physical exhibitions that can make the cultural heritage collections more widely available.

Ahead of the University Library’s 400th anniversary in 2021, a new exhibition hall has been prepared and a number of targeted digitisation projects have been launched. Support is needed to make it possible to intensify work on preserving the library’s treasures and making them available so that more people can benefit from them.

”Digitisation means that cultural heritage can belong to everyone. We need to move forward vigorously. Our goal is to continue to develop our digital platforms for both scholarly publications and cultural heritage collections.”
Lars Burman, Library Director, Professor of Literature

Support Uppsala University Library's Digitization of Cultural Treasures