Foreign Acquisitions

The National Library is also one of Sweden’s largest research libraries, with large foreign collections, mainly in the humanities. The foreign collecions have been built up through purchases and donations, and were still bigger than the Swedish collection in the 1950s.

Foreign Literature

According to the National Library’s government mandate (SFS 2008:1421), the library is tasked with collecting, storing, describing, and providing access to a representative collection of foreign literature. For that reason, the National Library acquires foreign scholarly literature, primarily in the humanities and with emphasis on Europe. The aim is to build further on the strong collections already held by the library.

Accordingly, key areas are history in the broad sense, as well as literature studies and art studies. The purchased literature must promote and support scholarly studies in the Swedish collection and other core collections at the library. Contact  Johannes Rudberg at the National Library for further information.

Foreign Literature with a Swedish Connection (suecana)

As directed by the mandate, the National Library also collects, stores, describes, and provides access to foreign publications with a Swedish connection. The library acquires foreign literature about Sweden and Swedish conditions, and Swedish literature in translation to foreign languages, which is known as suecana.

The library acquires some of the material through donations from Swedish publishers and through exchange programs with other national libraries. Foreign literature with a Swedish connection is incorporated in the Swedish collection.

The library purchases Finno-Swedish literature (poetry and prose) issued by publishers, while Finno-Swedish non-fiction is purchases according to the Guidelines for Acquisitions of Foreign Literature.

The library also produces the Suecana extranea bibliography, which indexes literature in foreign languages about Sweden and Swedish conditions, as well as Swedish literature in translation to foreign languages. The bibliography is a searchable sub-database in LIBRIS. Contact Johannes Rudberg at the National Library for further information.

Antiquarian Material

The National Library also purchases older, primarily Swedish, literature not found in the collections via antiquarian booksellers, book auctions, and private sellers. These acquisitions are out-of-print works not sold by ordinary book dealers. We sometimes accept donations as well. Contact Jan Ottosson at the National Library for further information.

Literature to Bibliothèque Nordique

Bibliothèque Nordique in Paris – a section of the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève – is the library outside the Nordic countries that has the richest collections of Scandinavian and Finnish literature. National Library has built up the Swedish section of the collections, which originated with the old abbey library Sainte-Geneviève and is still responsible for supplying Bibliothèque Nordique with Swedish literature. Contact Enrica Hallvarsson at the National Library for more information.

Last updated: 2009-03-26
Contact person: Johannes Rudberg, e-mail:

Missing Books

Desiderata - a register of missing books at the National Library

Books från our collections

National Library