Knowledge, Power and Materiality

Archives in Sweden 1727-1811

Project Description

The current project aims to examine the establishment and usage of new archival practices in the Swedish Eighteenth Century. Inspired by recent development in current research on the archive as a cultural practice, we perceive this practice as central to the rise of new forms of subjectivity, family, surveillance and public spheres. The projects consists of four intimately linked research projects. The first one will focus on the use of the sentimental family archive as a central endeavor in the establishment of the family as an emotional, rather than socio-economic, community (Otto Fischer). The second one focuses the archival practice of the Free Masons and will explore how the archive functioned as a central node in the establishment of an alternative sociability, eventually forming the precondition of an emerging public sphere (Tim Berndtsson). The third study will have its focus on the archival practice of the Stockholm Police, established by Gustavus III as a means for managing the city (Annie Mattsson). The final study will focus on the archival practices of the Moravian Brethren, where archives (local and central) were paramount in the establishment of an eventually global congregation (Ann Öhrberg).


Conference: "From Dust to Dawn. Archival Studies After the Archival Turn.", Uppsala University, November 15–17, 2017


The Swedish annual journal 1700-tal issues a Call for Papers on the theme "Manuscript Cultures and Writing Practices During the Long 18th Century" (CfP in Swedish). Last date to submit article proposals is June 15, 2016. The project is guest editor of this issue of the journal.