The Hagströmer Library, collections and opening hours

The Hagströmer Library holds more than 40,000 rare and important books in medicine, anatomy, pharmacy, natural history, biology, chemistry and other topics related to medicine. Most of the books were printed before 1860 but the library also keeps extensive collections of works from later periods.

Part of bookshelf with books from the Hagstromer Library.
The collection of rare books at the Hagtstromer Library is unique in Sweden. Photo: Carrie Greenwood

Visit the Hagströmer Library - online and on site!

The Hagströmer Library has altered its services and hours during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn more about available services and how to access them please contact us via email:

Hagströmer Library's catalogue online. 

From Autumn 2020, our catalogue is available via the Hagströmer Library's website, where you will also find our virtual book museum

Hagströmer Library's Digitised Collections: Digitised and catalogued by staff at the Hagströmer Library, largely during the Covid-19 pandemic, many images are now available to view online.


Tours of the Hagströmer Library 

During spring term  2022, we are open for guided tours from February 18.

We also offer tours via video link (zoom or teams). The price for this is the same as for regular screenings. More details of this on request.

Responses to our live online tours: 

"We have received a completely positive response to the tour of the Hagströmer"

Charlotta Forss, organizer of the workshop Health and Society in Early Modern Europe, Stockholm University, June 10, 2020 

Current prices:
Two-hour guided tour                3300 sek

One-hour guided tour                2000 sek

Groups from Karolinska Institutet pay a reduced charge.

Book a tour via email: 


Hagstromer Library on Youtube. 
Go to: and click on the playlist Karolinska Institutet Medical History and Heritage. Or search for ‘Hagströmer Library’ on Youtube.

Reading Room Opening Hours 2022:

The public reading room is open Wednesday and Thursday 09.00 - 12 AM.

(Closed 22 December - 18 February due to Covid-19 restrictions)

For questions about research visits and requests for digitalization of research material contact us on

Love it! It's like a Dogma movie.

Participant of tour for the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, October 5, 2020.

Hagströmer Library, tingssalen interior.
Hagströmer Library, tingssalen interior. Photo: Carrie Greenwood

Research and viewings in Tingshuset

To book a tour of the Hagströmer Library, Contact us for more information.

Scholars and researchers are welcome to visit the Hagströmer Library and work with our collections on site. The library has a limited number of study places that can be disposed of by agreement. Contact us for more information. Welcome to the Hagströmer Library!

To the Hagströmer Library external website

Anatomic illustration from the 17th century, brown crayon.
Muscle maninkin, Tabulae Anatomicae, by Pietro da Berrettini (1596-1669). Pietro’s anatomic atlas was never published during his lifetime. These forgotten copperplates were discovered over one hundred years later and published in 1741 with a new edition in 1788. From the Hagstromer Library collegions: Photo: Hagströmerbiblioteket

The book collection

Many of the books in the Hagströmer Library collections had an epoch-making significance in the history of medicine and science. Andreas Vesalius’ The Humani Corporis Fabrica, William Harvey’s, De Motu Cordis and Charles Darwin’s, Origin of Species are only a few examples of the library’s treasures. The main collection consists of works from the library of Karolinska Institutet (KIB) and the library of the Swedish Medical Association (Svenska Läkaresällskapet). Smaller collections come from the Pharmaceutical Association (Apotekarsocieteten), the Swedish Dentist Association (Tandläkaresällskapet) and the Medical History Museum Eugenia. The library also includes Carl Benedick's collection of books on alchemy and older chemistry and extensive special collections of books by and about prominent Swedish scientists such as Carl von Linné, Carl Wilhelm Scheele and Jöns Jacob Berzelius.

Manuscript Collections

Karolinska Institutets manuscript collection originated in the archives of Collegium Medicum, of which parts were incorporated into KI's library by A. J. Hagströmer. The collection includes documents linked to the Collegium Medicum and to the Association of Surgeons (Barberarskrået / Kirurgiska Societeten) , Abraham Bäck's archives, and A. J. Hagströmers own extensive manuscript collection. The Hagströmer Library also holds the Swedish Medical Society's manuscript collection and several deposited or donated smaller collections of older and newer material. The main parts of the manuscript collections originate from the 18th and 19th centuries.


The Hagströmer Library has a small number of Swedish and foreign journals, mainly from the 18th and 19th centuries, such as the Royal Swedish Academy’s periodicals and Hygiea . We also hold a smaller number of journals on the history of medicine and science. However, most of the journals available at KI are best accessed through KIB. For those who are looking for newer journal articles, we recommend that you primarily turn to KIB's journal and article databases.

Images, photographs and artefacts

The Hagströmer library's main collection of medical and scientific illustrations can be found in our books, which contain an abundance of images from the 15th century onwards. The anatomical, botanical and zoological illustrated works are particularly detailed and colourful and have been the focus of several exhibitions. In addition, the library keeps a number of specific image- and photo collections on various topics. The library also has an extensive collection of portraits of Swedish doctors (17th century to the 20th century). Mention may also be made of the Wessler collection, which in addition to books and objects also contains a large collection of prints linked to the practise of dentistry.

Emil von Behring, Allgemeine Therapie der Infektionskrankheiten.
Emil von Behring, Nobel Prize laureate 1901. Photo: Johanna Sjöblom

Karolinska Institutet's Nobel Collections

The core of the collections is the Medical Nobel Assembly’s book collection, which was previously available at KIB. It mainly covers scientific publications of Nobel laureates in medicine or physiology as well as chemistry. In addition, the collection includes printed texts, images, manuscripts and objects related to the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology and to international top research at KI.

The History of Karolinska Institutet

The Hagströmer library preserves KIB's older collection of printed documentation about and from KI, including older course catalogues, staff lists, small print and messages from management and institutions. However, the main responsibility for this type of material, as well as collecting and preserving newer material, lies with KI's Archival Unit. The Hagströmer Library holds a large collection of portraits, caricatures and photos of employees, and of course texts (monographs, articles and some manuscripts) by many KI researchers. Mention may be made in particular of our special print collections set up by author names, which provide immediate access to the scientific production of individual researchers or, where appropriate, entire scientific fields for specific periods of time. Photo albums from conferences and anniversaries, photographs that document KI as a physical environment, and a small number of maps and drawings that document its building history are also available at the Hagströmer library. Printed works about KI's history are available in the reference library.

Reference library

The Hagströmer Library has an extensive reference library on the history of medicine and science and adjoining subjects, with a focus on the period before about 1830. The reference library also contains certain English and Swedish journals on the history of science and medicine.

The Hagströmer Medico-Historical Library Book Series

Editors: Ove Hagelin (2007-2019) Hjalmar Fors (2020-

The Hagströmer Medico-Historical Library Book Series publishes medico-historical texts, historical monographs and popular history of science and medicine.

Do you have a script or a book idea that you think might be suitable for the series?

Please do contact the editor, even if you’re at an early stage in the writing process. The final decision on publication in the book series is, however, made on the basis of a submitted full-text manuscript. Decisions are made by the editor after consultation with the Hagströmer Library council and cannot be renegotiated.

Why should you publish your book in our book series?

All approved manuscripts are peer-reviewed. Therefore, a publication in our series will be a seal of quality for your book. Historical monographs published in the The Hagströmer Medico-Historical Library Book Series are subjected to anonymous double peer review (from 2020). Historical monographs in the series thereby formally qualify as peer rewiewed.  
We can also assist with contacts with suitable foundations for the application of publishing grants and with publishers. All publications in the The Hagströmer Medico-Historical Library Book Series recieves extra exposure through our channels, in addition to the fact that we will of course offer the book for sale at Hagströmer Library!


Previous publications

1. Carl von Linné, Om botanikens grunder: Föreläsningsanteckningar, höstterminen 1748  red. & övers. L. Bergqvist (2007). 

2. Thomas Lindblad, Gustaf Retzius: A Biography (2007). 

3. Carl von Linné, Herr Archiatern och Riddaren Linnæus i Lärda Tidningar 1745-1780 red. Ove Hagelin. (2007). 

4. Olof Kåhrström red., Linnés nätverk (2007). 

5. Olof Kåhrström. red., Linnaeus’ Network (2007).

6. Ove Hagelin, Ars medica Svecana: Svensk läkekonst genom fem sekler 1571–1921 (2008).

7. Jan Lindsten et al., KI avhandlingar 1810–1874: Inträdesdokument i ett beständigt akademiskt karriärsystem (2010). 

8. Ove Hagelin, Läke Konst: Medicinsk illustrationskonst från medeltid till Lennart Nilsson. Ars medica: The Art of Medical Illustration from the Middle Ages to Lennart Nilsson (2010).

9. Jan Trofast, Jacob Berzelius och Karolinska Institutet (2010).

10. Jan Lindsten et al., 114 Important Scientific Contributions from Karolinska Institutet (2010). 

11. Daniel Rolander, Ur regnskogens skugga: Daniel Rolander och resan till Surinam red. & inledn. J. Dobreff, övers. A. Jönsson, foto H. Schmitz (2010).

12. Thomas Ihre, Abraham Bäck. Mannen som reformerade den svenska sjukvården (2012).

13. Carl von Linné & Pehr Osbeck, Linné och mentalsjukdomarna red. N. Uddenberg (2012).

14. Göran Falkenberg et al., I skuggan av ett boktorn (2013).

15. Dan Jibréus, White Fox’ långa resa (2013).

16. John Ardene, De arte phisicali et de cirurgia practica: Master John Arderne från Newark och hur han utövade medicin och kirurgi, 1412 red. & övers.T. Svenberg & P. Murray Jones (2013).

17. John Ardene, De arte phisicali et de cirurgia practica: From a new digital version of the Stockholm roll ed. & trans. T. Svenberg & P. Murray Jones (2013).

18. Anna Lantz & Krister Östlund red., Vesalius: Anatomins mästare (2015).

19. Nils Uddenberg, Lidande och läkedom: Medicinens historia … till 1950. Del I-II (2015).

20 Ove Hagelin & Deborah Coltham, Odontologia: Rare & Important Books in the History of Dentistry. An Illustrated and Annotated Catalogue (2015).

21. Carina Nynäs & Lars Bergquist, A Linnaean Kaleidoscope: Linnaeus and his 186 dissertations Del I-II (2016).

22. Kenneth, Pehrsson, William Harvey: En medicinsk revolutionär (2018).


Coming up

Mike Sappol & Anna Lanz, red., Relics of Lost Medical Civilizations: The Hagströmer Library and Karolinska Institutet Collections (preliminär titlel). Design G. Dyhlén, foto R. Turander. 

Hjalmar Fors, red., Linnaean Manuscripts in the Collection of the Hagströmer Library (preliminär titel).