Our photograph collection contains 100 000 portraits, 1 000 albums, and about 100 photographs made with older photographic techniques, among else.


The bulk of the photograph collection is comprised of portraits circa 1860 – 1920, that is, visiting card or cabinet portraits. Most are portraits of famous individuals, but some are of less familiar people. Most of the portraits are found under the subject’s name, not the photographer’s.

The photograph collection also contains many photographs from early Swedish photographic history, the 1860s and 1870s, such as portraits of King Charles XV of Sweden and his family, and Johannes Jaeger’s famous photographs from the Arts and Industry Expo of 1866.

Other examples are Arthur Thesleff’s collection of early 20th century photographs of Romany people and Pål-Nils Nilsson’s portraits of famous Swedes like Harry Martinson, Dag Hammarsköld, and Astrid Lindgren.

One of the largest collections of photographs is that of Henry B. Goodwin, extending to more than 1 800 photographs, including portrait’s of the cultural and social elite of the time.

The photograph collection also includes about 5 000 Swedish and foreign topographical photographs.

Photographic Techniques

The photograph collection contains about a hundred portraits made with early photographic techniques like daguerrotypes, ambrotypes, pannotypes, and ferrotypes. There are also other, somewhat later, examples of photogravures, gum arabic prints, and various pigment processes in the collection.

Photograph by Björn Langhammer (detail)
Photograph by Björn Langhammer (detail).
Click the thumbnail to see the entire photograph.

Last updated: 2008-04-22
Contact person: Greger Bergvall, e-mail:
Books från our collections

National Library