Suecia antiqua et hodierna (SAH)

Published on: 13/06/2007
“Suecia antiqua et hodierna” (1660-1715) is an extensive illustrated work from Sweden's period as a great power. The images are often reproduced in newspapers, periodicals and books. Continuous demands for reproductions and recurring handling of the original has taken its toll both financially and with regard to the wear on the material kept at the National Library. The digitisation of the collection is an attempt to preserve the original, yet making it even more accessible than previously. Committed to high standards of quality, the volume of Suecia used for the digitisation process was supervised throughout by conservationists from the Preservation Section at the National Library. Following the digitisation process the entire work and its 353 plates was catalogued and an inventory of all copies at the National Library produced. As a consequence the originals are blocked from further access and only available at the web site The work is also accessible via the National Library online catalogue Regina and LIBRIS websearch.

Policy Context

Kungl. biblioteket is the National Library of Sweden. Our mission is to serve higher education and research both now and in the future.

Description of target users and groups

Future researchers, who will find this object in better physical contidion; staff at the library, who will have more time for other objects and customers; users nation wide and more who can study this object in better detail than before, without coming to Stockholm.

Description of the way to implement the initiative

Our management was very supporting seeing the effects on internal cooperation between professions inhouse.

Technology solution

Technology choice: Standards-based technology

Main results, benefits and impacts

We recognise the importance of high quality of the digital masterfiles for future and present multi purpose use, and to be able to let the physical objects rest. We recognise that digitisation is not a one-man-job, but a complex union of professional skills; conservators; photographers; book historians; web masters; IT-specialists; etc To reach good administrative results you have to plan your projects well! This project carries evidence of this.

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Track record of sharing

The Suecia Antiqua et Hodierna Project experiences was documented in the "goals and priciples" document taken by the National Library in 2004.

Lessons learnt

Lesson 1 - When well planned, digitisation projects on cultural heritage objects will give you good administration benifits. Lesson 2 - A well planned digitisation project always involves cooperation between several professions. Lesson 3- A well planned digitisation project in not expensive. Lesson 4 - A poorly planned digitisation project is never cost efficient. Scope: International