Twenty-five booksellers from Sweden, Finland and England will exhibit rare books and antiquarian material. The Stockholm fair is also a showcase for some of Sweden's finest bookbinders and publishers.
The Swedish Antiquarian Booksellers Association (SVAF) has now announced the dates for the 2017 Stockholm Antiquarian Book Fair. The fair will take place from the 4th to the 5th of March at Stockholm’s beautiful Royal Academy of Arts.
Twenty-five booksellers from Sweden, Finland and England will exhibit rare books and antiquarian material. The Stockholm fair is also a showcase for some of Sweden’s finest bookbinders and publishers.
As a joint initiative, the national associations of Sweden, Denmark and Norway decided to set up an online database for their members back in October 1998, www.antikvariat.net, which will also exhibit and demonstrate its services during the fair. Antikvariat.net is not only an important tool for the antiquarian trade in the Scandinavian countries but also an established platform for book collectors.
Sweden has a long tradition in antiquarian bookselling. Its national association Svenska Antikvariatföreningen (SVAF) was established in 1936, and has belonged to the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers since its beginnings. Stockholm alone lists 15 antiquarian booksellers who are affiliated to the SVAF and therefore to ILAB.
Booksellers, libraries, printers and publishers have always played a significant role in the history of Sweden. One of the more beautiful libraries of Sweden, the Bernadotte Library, which is the library of the present royal family, is housed in the Royal Palace in Stockholm. The library contains the royal book collection of over 100,000 books, that have belonged to the Bernadotte kings and queens throughout the ages.
The Library of Queen Lovisa Ulrica (1720-1782), sister of Fredrick the Great and mother of Gustavus III is housed at Drottningholm Palace, the royal family’s permanent home residence. Queen Lovisa Ulrica was very well educated and a patron of culture and scientists, among whom was Carl Linnaeus (also ”Carl von Linné"), the renowned Swedish botanist.
Also in Stockholm, the Hagströmer Library (Hagströmerbiblioteket) houses a world class collection of medical books and book museum.
Sweden’s National Library, the Royal Library is a legal deposit library. The library’s Special Reading Room allows the study of all material belonging to the special collections, such as printed music, posters, manuscripts, maps, books printed before 1830, ephemera and documents from the library's official archives.
Stockholm’s Nordiska Museet holds one of Sweden’s most important archives as well as library with over 250,000 books and journals. Stockholm’s public library is well known for its Rotunda, the iconic central building of the library. According to UNESCO’s 1998 World Culture Report, the Nordic countries are among the nations with the highest numbers (per capita) of library books and book titles published annually.
One of the first printing presses in Sweden, the royal printing press Kungliga Tryckeriet was founded in Stockholm in 1526, holding a monopoly for almost 100 years. With only one printing house in 1600, a century later Sweden had 17 printing houses of which 6 were based in Stockholm. Some of Stockholm’s printing houses – Ignatius Meurer, Henrik Keyser, Georg Gottlieb Burchardi – also operated as publishers with international connections. Already back in the 1700’s, these publishers and printers traded in scholarly books in Latin with their European colleagues at book fairs.
Popular literacy was given high priority and was encouraged from the 17th century onwards and records have shown that by the mid-18th century more than 90% of adults were able to read religious texts. The first bookseller set up in Stockholm in 1647. Universities started importing foreign books and by 1700, more publishers and booksellers had opened their shops. By the late 19th century, amongst various publishing houses, the Bonnier publishing house had a significant impact on the Swedish market, mainly by publishing Strindbergs works, who is often referred today as the father of Swedish literature. Bonnier today is a major international media group. Strindberg’s memory is kept alive in the Strindberg Museum in Stockholm with its library, collections and archives.
The organisers of the fair have chosen one of Stockholm’s most beautiful and most appropriate venues for a rare book fair, the Royal Academy of Arts. The Royal Swedish Academy of Arts was founded in 1773 by King Gustaf II, it is one of the Royal Academies of Sweden and also houses a significant book collection and library of art books.
Mats Petersson, President of the Swedish Booksellers Association has commented: “We invite national and international visitors to this exceptional venue and have chosen an art-books theme for the 2017 fair. In cooperation with the Royal Academy, we will host a number of lectures and a booth especially dedicated to art books.”