Visiting Kungliga Biblioteket was on my bucket list! So, as soon as I arrived in Sweden, I didn’t waste any time and traveled to one of the places that immediately stole my heart and entered my top 5 list of favorite spots where I would like to spend all my time, if possible, respectively The National Library of Sweden! I cannot describe in words how much I love this place! Therefore, I would love to present to you my practical guide to KB!
1. When is the library open to the public?
In general, the visiting hours are between 09:00 and 18:00, but you must consult the schedule made available to the public on the library’s official website because there are also special days that are distinguished by irregular opening hours.
2. What can you find at the library?
The library’s collections are made up of a myriad of printed and audiovisual materials. This very heterogeneity of materials represents the linchpin of the library’s honorable reputation and tradition, reflected in its deep-rooted core value of embracing intellectual freedom. Here you can find everything that your imagination compels you to look up for, whether we’re talking about old newspapers, computer games, music, posters, personal archives, maps, manuscripts, foreign literature, or just about books! Are you interested in finding out what kind of documentaries, short movies, newsreels, or even commercials were made at the end of the 19th century (filmarkivet.se)?
Or do you want to look over some manuscripts from the Early Modern Period or right from the Middle Ages (manuscripta.se)? In this case, The National Library of Sweden is the ideal institution where all your questions can be answered!
Please, keep in mind that Kungliga Biblioteket fights for the right of each person to develop his own opinion by passing raw and uncensored information through the filter of his own thinking, thus aligning with the spirit of democracy, equality, and freedom.
3. What is my favorite spot to study in the library?
The Main Reading Room, located on the 5th floor, is, without doubt, my front runner for this purpose. While being extremely spacious and airy, the room has a sumptuous and luxurious look that, if juxtaposed with the frolicsome trees that seem to gently knock on the square astronomical windows (slightly sharpened in the upper part), leads to the permanent penciling of a miraculous image that feels as if it is detached from the Arthurian legend’s preeminent mythical castled realm, Camelot.
4. The Codex Gigas
Have you ever heard of the so-called “Giant Book” or Codex Gigas? This is the largest medieval manuscript in the world which was preserved (it is at least 800 years old). The manuscript is located in the library’s Treasury Room and weighs approximately 75 kilograms. The 310 parchment leaves are supposed to be made of calfskin. Among others, The Codex contains botany manuals, historical texts, cures for serious illnesses, a complete Bible with the Old and the New Testament, mysterious magic spells, and a calendar!
The park that surrounds the library is stunning! Hundreds of people choose this place as the perfect spot for a picnic or for some type of physical activity. Needless to say, my way back home is a visual delicacy! Please, take a look!
I'm Vlad, your Romanian blogger who comes from the very homeland of Dracula, Transylvania. While completing my first degree in International Business, I based my undergraduate thesis on the inconsistency of biological analogies in Economics. I began to study the genomes of ants and thus gravitate towards Biomedicine and KI. I chose Karolinska because of its academic and research excellence and because one day I wish to be able to make a difference in the field of Cancer Genetics. Visiting the remarkable collection of preserved medieval manuscripts from the Kungliga Biblioteket is on my bucket list.