The Project

By testamentary disposition, the private archive of King Gustav III (1746–1792), comprising his correspondence and manuscripts on several subjects, was left in the care of Uppsala University Library upon his death.

The collection is essential for Swedish and international research concerning eighteenth-century history: researchers have used it for centuries to study the period’s political, social, and cultural life. Unique in its kind, the collection has put Uppsala on the map of eighteenth-century studies. Therefore, it is unfortunate that the University Library has deemed it necessary to block the originals from all use. Years of use have exacted a toll, and further use entails an immediate risk of losing invaluable texts.

The project will rectify this and boost scholarship based on the collection. This will be achieved by four means:

1) The physical manuscripts will be conserved and digitised and thus be made more available for sustainable use.

2) Handwritten text recognition (HTR) will make principal parts of the collection searchable as text, thus vastly improving their accessibility.

3) Research on the digitised material will be initiated, with the material’s searchability allowing new and large-scale research questions (e.g., through text mining), and research opportunities will be offered to junior scholars during the project.

4) The collection will be disseminated in cultural heritage contexts through social media, programme activities, and so forth.

The project is a collaboration between Faculty and Library at Uppsala University.