The Hagströmer Library, Visiting and Opening Hours

The Hagströmer Library has more than 150,000 books and journals in medicine, anatomy, pharmacy, natural history, biology, chemistry and other areas of knowledge related to medicine. The oldest books are from the 1480s, but the collection's emphasis is on the period 1600-1990.

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

Visit the Hagströmer Library - online and on site!

Reading room opening hours:

The reading room is open Wednesdays and Thursdays 0900-1200.

During Spring 2022, the reading room is closed on the 19th and 26th May.
The library is closed to visitors for the summer from 27 June and will reopen on 16 August.

For questions about research visits and requests for digitization of research material, contact us at

Tours of the Hagströmer Library 

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

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.

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: 


Find us here:
Hagströmer Library
Haga Tingshus
Annerovägen 12
169 70 Solna

Tel: 08-524 868 28

NOTE! The library is closed to visitors for the summer from 27 June and will reopen on 16 August.



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

Hagströmer Library's catalogue and collections online:

Our catalogue is available to search 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.


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

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.

Charter for the Barber-Surgeons Guild, signed by King Johan III, Stockholm 1571
Charter for the Barber-Surgeons Guild, signed by King Johan III, Stockholm 1571 Photo: Eva Nyström

Manuscript Collections

Karolinska Institutet's manuscript collection has its origins in Collegium Medicum's archive, parts of which were incorporated into KI's library through the care of A. J. Hagströmer. The collection includes, among other things, documents linked to the Collegium Medicum and to the Barber Association / The Surgical Society, Abraham Bäck's archive, and A. J. Hagströmer's own extensive collection of manuscripts. The Swedish Medical Association's manuscript collection and a number of deposited or donated smaller collections of older and newer material are also stored at the Hagströmer Library.


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).