The restrictions are lifted

Johan Sjöberg, Ph.D., Archivist at Uppsala University Library, Project Archivist

The university library and the Department of History at Uppsala University started the project Gustav’s Hand because, in 2019, it was decided that Gustav III’s private archive – the Gustavian collection – would no longer be available for research. Generations of intensive use by historians had then made the collection badly worn. The volumes’ characteristic red covers were themselves a problem, as they were often too small for the documents they contained, resulting in the documents being constantly folded up and folded together. In addition, the edges of the documents were curled. These edges threatened to fall off, resulting in a loss of text.

The old red leather bindings, with orange stickers marking out the volumes that were blocked from use.

The library is now lifting the restrictions as the collection is conserved, digitized, and placed in more appropriate storage. In the first instance, reference is made to the freely available digital versions in the Alvin digital platform. However, researchers who need to see the originals can now access these. So far, the restrictions have been lifted for just over 50 of the collection’s volumes.

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