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The books in the eighteenth‑century library at the iron making estate Leufstabruk in northern Uppland (Sweden) have been owned by Uppsala University Library since the middle of the 1980s. Although the most valuable volumes have been moved for security reasons to the main building, Carolina Rediviva, most are still located in their original setting: a beautiful small pavilion designed by Swedish court architect Jean Eric Rehn (1717–1793) beside the manor house of the estate and next to the canal. The collections reflect the interests, reading, and book ownership of several members of the noble family De Geer: Charles the Entomologist (1720–1778) most of all, but also Charles the Politician (1747–1805) and to a lesser extent Hedvig Ulrika (1752–1813), and later Carl (1781–1861) and his wife Ulrika Sofia (1793–1869). Much has already been written about the library, but countless avenues for further research remain, and recently new knowledge has been gained through the complete survey and new cataloguing of the books carried out in the project The Library of Leufstabruk. The author of this text managed this project, which was financed by the Swedish Foundation for the Advancement of the Humanities and Social Sciences (Stiftelsen Riksbankens Jubileumsfond) in collaboration with Uppsala University Library and Koninklijke Bibliotheek, the National Library of the Netherlands.[1] Most importantly, this project has considerably improved access to and conditions for research with the collections. The purpose of this report is briefly to summarize the results of this project, to discuss some new insights, and to update the public’s impression of the library overall. First, an introduction is provided as background to Leufstabruk, the previous research on the library, and the members of the De Geer family.

De Geer’s Leufsta

Iron was produced at Leufstabruk as early as the Middle Ages, thanks to the richness of forests and water in the surrounding region. The iron industry was owned by farmers (bondebruk) in the sixteenth century, but by the beginning of the seventeenth century the Crown also owned an iron making facility (kronobruk), which was leased by the Dutchmen Willem de Besche (1573–1629) and Louis De Geer (1587–1652) from 1626 to 1627. By 1643, De Geer and his descendants had become the sole owners.[2] The entire estate, including its first manor house, which was built of wood, was burned down by Russian troops on July 25–26, 1719, at the end of the Great Northern War. Later, Louis De Geer’s grandson, Charles De Geer (1660–1730), who is usually referred to as the County Governor to separate him from other family members with the same name, built a manor house with two wings in stone, which still stand today. We cannot be certain who designed the house, but it could have been the Swedish court architect Göran Josuae Adelcrantz (1668–1739).[3]

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When Charles the County Governor died without offspring, his 10‑year‑old nephew Charles the Entomologist inherited Leufstabruk. At the same time, the entire estate was entailed and remained so until 1986. Charles the Entomologist was born in 1720 at the estate of Finspång in Östergötland (Sweden), but his parents moved to Utrecht in the Netherlands when he was three years old. He grew up in Utrecht in the Rijnhuizen castle, and the family hired the Swedish astronomer Olof Hiorter (1696–1750) to be his private teacher. In 1738, Charles returned to Sweden and three years later started to run Leufstabruk. In 1739, at the young age of 19, he was elected member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences mainly due to his nobility and potential patronage, although his interest and knowledge in the natural sciences was considerable: eventually, Charles would produce his magnum opus, a seven‑volume text on insects.[4] In 1748, he became corresponding member of the French Academy of Sciences. During his time at Leufstabruk, Charles worked to expand his impressive book collection. In the 1750s, the renowned Swedish architect Jean Eric Rehn was hired to improve the estate. Among other things, he designed the iron gates, which still mark the entrance to the park, fashioned new interiors for the corps‑de‑logis, designed the aviary, the two exquisite pavilions built for the library and the natural cabinet by the canal, which, at the end of the 1750s, replaced two earlier buildings. We will, of course, return to the library pavilion.

Charles the Entomologist and his wife Catharina Charlotta Ribbing (1720–1787) had eight children, who all reached adulthood. The oldest son, Charles the Politician, inherited Leufstabruk when his father died in 1778.[5] He is probably best known in Sweden for having belonged to the faction of the nobility that opposed King Gustavus III (r. 1771–1792). For this opposition, Charles the Politician was arrested and imprisoned for several months in 1789. As we will see, Charles the Politician’s acquisitions for the Leufstabruk library were fewer and of a different nature than his father’s acquisitions. The book collections were also influenced by Charles the Politician’s sister, Hedvig Ulrika, who in 1774 married the much older count Fredrik Carl Dohna af Karwinden (1721–1784). Her own ex libris can be found in many volumes at Leufsta, literature that was altogether different from her brother’s or father’s acquisitions. This fact has been almost completely neglected in previous research on the library.

In 1926, iron production at Leufsta ceased because of decreasing profits. In 1986, Leufstabruk’s entailment was abolished and the estate was donated to the Leufsta Foundation (Leufstastiftelsen), which had been created by the County Council and the County Administrative Board of Uppsala, Uppsala University, Tierp Municipality, and the De Geer family. In addition, the book collections in the eighteenth‑century library were acquired for Uppsala University Library, keeping them in Sweden’s possession.[6] At the time, there were serious concerns that the collection would leave Sweden, as had happened with the collections of Carl Linnaeus in 1784 (now at the Linnaean Society in London), and it happened again just a few years ago with the so‑called Princess Library (now at Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin).[7] Since 1997, Leufstabruk has been owned and managed by the National Property Board of Sweden. This national ownership has facilitated preservation, and when we enter the eighteenth‑century library[8]—the beautiful creation of Jean Eric Rehn—we see that almost all the books are still located on their original shelves, arranged according to an original system.

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Stock and Acquisition I

We know with certainty that there were books at Leufstabruk before Charles the Entomologist inherited the estate, and that the collections would soon be enlarged. Charles the County Governor left 93 books with the estate.[9] In addition, the manager of the estate, Eric Danielsson Touscher, bought literature on behalf of his lord in the 1730s.[10] Charles the Entomologist inherited 27 books from his father, Jean Jacques De Geer, who died in 1738.[11] He also brought with him twelve large chests with approximately 250 books and a collection of scientific instruments when he moved from the Netherlands. There he had already cultivated his interest in natural sciences—he had even studied under Pieter van Musschenbroek (1692–1761)—and established contacts with Dutch book dealers. Both account books from Charles’s time in the Netherlands and early library catalogues are extant today, so we can clearly see, from details about book dealers, authors, titles, dates, and prices, how the early acquisitions were carried out.[12] Books from Charles’s upbringing and education can still be found at Leufsta.[13] A Latin primer has between its pages a newspaper clipping from the time, the 8 January 1734 issue of ’s‑Gravenhaegsche Courant, printed when Charles was 13 years old.[14] The book dealer Broedelet in Utrecht seems to have been Charles’s most important source for literature during this period, but Charles also bought books from Neaulme, Mortier, and Gosse, among others.[15] When he moved, he also brought books such as the Dictionnaire historique et critique by Pierre Bayle, the Dictionnaire historique by Moreri, and the Entretiens sur la pluralité des mondes by Fontenelle.[16] Most of the very valuable Leufsta musical scores were acquired before he came to Leufstabruk in 1738. Arriving in Sweden, Charles bought two splendid manuscripts, the Book of Flowers and the Book of Birds, by the prominent Swedish scholars Olof Rudbeck the Elder (1630–1702) and Olof Rudbeck the Younger (1660–1740), father and son. He also acquired the two printed parts of the Campus Elysii from Rudbeck the Younger, with whom he had become acquainted in Uppsala.[17] Some years earlier, the manager of the estate Georg Svebilius bought, on behalf of his lord, the famous Atlantica by Rudbeck the Elder from the same person. More books previously owned by the Rudbecks, father and son, were later acquired for the Leufsta Library at a book auction held in 1741, one year after the death of Rudbeck the Younger. These purchases included Iter Lapponicum, the sketchbook of the well‑known botanist Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778), which he made during his 1732 travels in Lapland in northern Sweden.[18] We will return to the books of the Rudbecks, father and son, later. The same year, 1741, Charles started running the iron making estate at Leufsta.

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A New Library Building

A wash drawing from 1745 by Olof von Dalin depicts the Leufstabruk estate’s manor house with its stone wings and the older pavilions for the library and the natural cabinet by the canal. Supposedly, the older pavilions were located close to the water for fire safety reasons.[19] As the drawing shows, these buildings had manor roofs (säteritak) and seem to have been surrounded by water at some point. The buildings were demolished in 1757. The following year, new buildings—still standing today—were constructed with flat roofs, and a new library catalogue was implemented.[20] Around this time, the ground surrounding the entrances of these buildings must have been drained to build the small courtyards (parterrer) still seen today. Inside the library, some changes have been made, although the overall character of the interior is still original, in contrast to the natural cabinet, which was completely redesigned at the end of the nineteenth century.[21] The library consists of one larger room with wall‑mounted shelves and three smaller ones. From a vestibule, we enter the larger room, where we can access two smaller chambers. The latter both have wall‑mounted shelves and a tiled stove. Two doors from the vestibule that lead directly into the chambers have been closed. Today, bookshelves also cover three of the windows of the library building. In 1939, the original wooden floors in the larger hall and in one of the chambers were replaced with tiles. Initially, the smaller chambers served as writing studios and storage rooms for manuscripts and drawings, and the larger hall housed the book collection. Charles the Entomologist had his office for writing and working in one of the chambers of the natural cabinet’s pavilion, another of which housed his working library of the natural sciences. When Charles died, his books in the natural cabinet were added to the other collections in the main library.[22] To locate the library in a building outside of the corps‑de‑logis of the estate is certainly not unique for Leufsta—this was also done in Bielke’s Salsta, Tessin’s Åkerö, Sack’s Berghammar, and Cronstedt’s Fullerö[23]—but the result here was especially successful, as most of the books are still in place and little has changed over the years. Some consider Leufsta Library as a kind of time capsule from the eighteenth century. For example, remnants from the era have been found between leaves in the volumes, including playing cards used as bookmarkers, handwritten annotations, flowers, and plants.[24]

Stock and Acquisition II

When Charles the Entomologist moved to Leufsta, the library’s stock of books gradually began to grow. Over time, its conditions were improved. In the early 1740s, an important contact for Charles was the German book dealer Gottfried Kiesewetter, who had his business in Stockholm from the 1730s to 1761 and who had permission to import books, often from the Netherlands.[25] Gottfried Kiesewetter’s initials are in several books at Leufsta, which can be easily matched with his catalogues and the acquisition catalogues of the Leufsta Library. As Alex Alsemgeest has stressed, many of its new acquisitions at this time were antiquarian, including the books acquired from the Rudbecks.[26]

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After 1746, most books were acquired from the book dealers Samuel and Johannes Luchtmans in Leiden, and they supplied literature from other Dutch publishers such as Changuion, Gosse, Rey, Luzac, Neaulme, Wetstein, and Arkstée en Merkus, as well as from publishers in England. Approximately 1500 book orders for the Leufsta Library were made with Luchtmans before 1778.[27] The contact was supposedly made through van Musschenbroek, the uncle of the Luchtmans. In their still extant account books, Charles the Entomologist appears to be one of the most important clients. Month by month, we can follow his acquisitions, with information on authors, titles, prices, and dates of delivery as well as the name of the firm in Amsterdam from which the books were sent. We can also see when and how the Luchtmans ordered titles they did not have in stock.[28] In his first order, from March 1746, Charles bought all published numbers of Wetstein’s periodical Bibliothèque raisonnée des ouvrages des savants de l’Europe, which was well‑known for its articles on natural history and reviews of new books. In 1751, he bought all previous numbers of Journal des savants in Marc‑Michel Rey’s edition (150 volumes) and the Dutch edition of Mémoires des Trévoux from the same publisher. Later, he also subscribed to L’Année litteraire, Bibliothèque des sciences and Philosophical Transactions. Through these periodicals and many others such as Mercure historique et politique, Amusements des dames, and Bibliothèque choisie et amusante (106 subscriptions in total), Charles stayed up to date with recent publications on the continent in the sciences, politics, and entertainment. As Tomas Anfält has shown, we can easily find examples of how Charles discovered a new publication in a periodical, ordered it at Luchtmans, and in some months added a new title to his own catalogue.[29] The trade routes and international contacts from the nearby harbor at Ängskär close to Leufstabruk were good. This supply chain is a splendid example of how the globalization of the time impacted small villages far from the large cities.[30] Among the Swedish periodicals in the Leufsta library, we find the transactions of the Royal Academy of Sciences and the Society of Sciences in Uppsala, both of which Charles himself was a member. Soon after Charles the Entomologist’s death in 1778, his sons Charles and Emanuel cancelled almost all of their father’s subscriptions, as their interests lay elsewhere.[31] It should be added that in 1756 Charles the Entomologist bought from Luchtmans the first volumes from the first edition in the folio format of Diderot’s and d’Alambert’s Encyclopédie and subscribed to the later volumes. Thus, a complete copy can be found at Leufstabruk.

Unfortunately, Charles the Entomologist’s letters to Luchtmans have not been preserved, but 25 letters written between 1758 and 1769 from Luchtmans to Charles are still in the Leufsta library. In addition to lists of ordered books and deliveries, we can see the titles of books that could not be delivered, sometimes because they were forbidden, such as Marc‑Michel Rey’s 1762 edition of Rousseau’s Du contrat social. The Luchtmans managed to deliver some forbidden titles, however.[32] In Leufsta, we find, for example, both the Questions sur l’Encyclopédie by Voltaire and De l’ésprit by Helvétius, both banned in France at the time and eventually in Sweden.[33] The extant Leufsta library catalogues also contain prices and acquisition dates. These preserved catalogues, archives, and correspondence hold fantastic possibilities for researchers of book history. Through them we can examine the book trade from the perspectives of both the seller and the buyer.[34] And as if these rich sources of information were not enough, we also have Charles the Entomologists’s own annotations: while reading, Charles the Entomologist made lists of what he read with references to articles and books in all subjects, sometimes even with short summaries of their contents.[35]

It has been estimated that a quarter of the Leufsta Library today consists of books on the natural sciences, mainly as a result of the research interests of Charles the Entomologist. As Erik Hamberg has shown, we find many of the latest publications of the time in his collection, with an obvious focus on entomology.[36] However, this was more than a research library: the entire family had books on a wide variety of subjects. Almost a similar number of books could be labelled as belles‑lettres, and another portion as history, genealogy, and biography. As the children became readers, the family acquired such titles as Magasin des enfants by Madame Le Prince de Beaumont, Le Comte de Comminge, ou les amans malheureux by Baculard d’Arnaud and Lettres de la duchesse de *** au comte *** by Crébillon le fils.[37] These were still mostly from Dutch publishers.

Over time, the commercial and social conditions of print culture began to change. The domestic book market grew, and more book dealers in Stockholm were able to deliver books from the continent.[38] In addition, contact between Sweden and the Netherlands was not as common as when Charles the Entomologist was alive. Thus, in addition to buying from the German book dealer Kiesewetter, the family acquired books from Salvius,[39] Fougt[40] and Fyrberg[41] in Stockholm—even of the forbidden kind that Robert Darnton has discussed.[42] For example, following the taste of the times, the library had copies of the satirical and ‘indecent’ La pucelle d’Orleans by Voltaire in both the 1755 and 1762 editions. The Histoire philosophique des établissements et du commerce des européens dans les deux Indes by Abbé Raynal was purchased for the library at the beginning of the 1770s, despite it being forbidden in France and Sweden. Both the first and second editions were acquired (the latter contained critical remarks on the coup d’état of the Swedish King Gustavus III in 1772). Later, titles such as the Mémoires de la Bastille by Linguet were also acquired for the Leufsta library. Overall, entertainment and political literature were the most important categories among the new acquisitions during the time of Charles the Politician, a trend that began when he and his siblings were young. He did not have the same interest in the natural sciences as his father Charles the Entomologist,[43] as is evident in the acquisition of forbidden pornographic titles such as the Vie privée de Louis XV by Moufle d’Angerville and the Lettres originales de madame la comtesse du Barry by Pidansat de Mairobert. As Tomas Anfält has stated, no fewer than 108 titles from Darnton’s list of 720 forbidden bestsellers can be found at Leufsta. Approximately 40 were bought during the 1740s and 1750s, mostly political satire, and during the 1760s, the forbidden books acquired were mostly philosophical. Most of the banned books at Leufsta Library, however, were acquired between the 1770s and the 1790s and primarily by Charles the Politician.[44]

Most histories of the Leufsta Library end here, with the death of Charles the Politician in 1805. This approach, however, neglects another group of books. The complete survey of the collection by the The Library of Leufstabruk project found in one of the small chambers approximately 400 books printed after 1805. Several, but not all, of these books were registered in the 1907 catalogue of Lilljebjörn.[45] Although 400 may seem like a rather small number in a library where the catalogue includes more than 10,000 items, this discovery demonstrates that the collections continued to grow into the nineteenth century. Many of these titles were of a practical nature and related to the iron industry, including yearbooks of the Swedish iron industry organization (Jernkontorets annaler) as well as minutes of meetings of the iron‑making society (Brukssocieteten) from the beginning of the nineteenth century until the 1860s (these have not been included in Lilljebjörn’s catalogue). In addition, we found books on the art of riding, farm management, geology, forestry, and parliamentary minutes, as well as many French titles published through 1822, primarily novels but also biographical and historical works. When Charles the Politician died, Leufstabruk was inherited by his son Carl De Geer (1781–1861), who had left the military to take up the management of the entailed estate. In 1818, he was made a count at the coronation of Charles XIV John (r. 1818–1844), and in time distinguished himself in domestic politics and as one of the Lords of the Realm. On 12 March 1809, he was arrested by Gustavus IV Adolphus (r. 1792–1809) on suspicion that he was part of the opposition, but he was released the following day. In 1810, he married Ulrika Sofia Sprengtporten (1793–1869), who became a central figure among the upper classes in Stockholm for several decades as a salon hostess interested in contemporary politics. She was only 17 when she married Carl, who was twelve years older, but she loved someone else, the young nobleman Karl Fredrik Reinhold von Essen (1789–1820). Allegedly, her marriage of convenience to Carl caused her several years of depression and bitterness in the 1810s, and it has been said that she even publicly wore mourning clothes when von Essen passed away in 1820.[46] It is, of course, interesting that the French literature from the nineteenth century in the Leufsta Library can be associated with the dramatic destinies of these important figures, yet another detail must be noted.

In the same chamber, we find approximately 250 volumes with the ex libris of Hedvig Ulrika De Geer, a younger sister of Charles the Politician. We can assume that these volumes did not constitute her entire collection, which was considerable and scattered after her death.[47] Today, books that she had owned can often be found in different collections and at book auctions. We do not know exactly when and how these books arrived at Leufsta, but it must have happened in the nineteenth century. They are absent from the last of the older catalogues, which is dated 1800, but they can be found in the catalogue of Lilljebjörn from 1907. However, the oldest of her books at Leufsta, the memoires of Count Claude de Forbin, was published in Amsterdam in two volumes in 1730, and the newest, a collection of stories suitable for conversation, was published in Paris in 1808. The remaining titles are mostly similar: memoirs and biographies of nobility, history books, historical novels, plays, travel stories, and literature intended for women of the upper classes. Hedvig Ulrika De Geer died without offspring in 1813. Although it is not clear when her books arrived at Leufsta, they most probably were sent there shortly after her death. By then, suffering from grief and sorrow, the 20‑year‑old Ulrika Sofia occasionally spent time at Leufstabruk. Therefore, portions of the deceased noblewoman’s mainly French library were available to the lady who would become perhaps the most important Swedish representative of French salon culture in the nineteenth century; she was eventually called ‘the last grande dame’ of Sweden.[48] We have here, indeed, material suitable for future research.

It should be stressed that many items that were bought for or located in the library at Leufstabruk are no longer extant. In contemporaneous catalogues, we occasionally find titles that have been erased and that do not have any counterparts in the today’s collection. They could have been removed or simply given away. We also know the names of publications that De Geer subscribed to but that were never registered in the catalogue, such as the magazine Gazette de Leyde, which is not noted in today’s collection. Most probably, more publications of this ephemeral character have met the same fate.[49]

The Purpose and Results of the Project

With this overview of the collections and acquisition history of the Leufsta Library as a background, we will now look more closely at the results from the recently finished infrastructure project. The project aimed to improve digital access to the collections in an efficient and relevant way, taking into account the special conditions of the library and collaborating institutions. Some specific phases of the project can be described.[50]

The first and most obvious stage, and a prerequisite for the later stages, was to add the bibliographic information of the library collections to modern databases. As mentioned above, the last catalogue of the Leufsta Library was compiled by Erik Gustaf Lilljebjörn in 1907. This catalogue was heavily criticized for its lack of quality and, of course, has all the limitations of a printed book, although today it is digitally available as a searchable full text in Alvin, the repository for digital material used at Uppsala University Library.[51] To begin the project, all books in the Leufsta Library were catalogued in Libris, the Swedish National Union Catalogue, following its standards for the registration of early printed books. These records have also been imported into the local catalogue at Uppsala University Library. Simple searches can now reveal new information on the collections, although the statistics of course also depend on the alternatives that the cataloguing rules provide. Now there are approximately 10,000 records in Libris on the Leufsta Library, and these include the books that are physically stored in the main library in Uppsala, Carolina Rediviva. Books in French constitute most of the collection (about 66 percent). This is followed by books in Swedish (about 15 percent), Latin (about 7.5 percent), German (about 2.5 percent), Dutch (about 2.5 percent), and a few books in other languages (about 6.5 percent). In addition, all Dutch prints in the Leufsta Library have been registered in the Short Title Catalogue Netherlands (STCN), the Dutch retrospective bibliography that aims to include all books printed in the Netherlands or published in Dutch in other countries between 1540 and 1800.[52] The total number of Leufsta Library records added to the STCN is 2137. We should be aware, though, that the relation between STCN and Libris is not one to one, as these databases follow different principles and both suffer from some bibliographic inconsistencies. These are, however, much smaller in STCN than in Libris, depending on the different structures and practices of these union catalogues and their different aims.[53] The registration of the Leufsta Library prints in STCN was necessary for the next stage of the project.

Of the Dutch books registered in the STCN, several hundred were in editions that had not been previously attested in the database. This fact may sound surprising, but it is in line with earlier observations.[54] As the Leufsta Library includes Dutch prints that have not been attested anywhere else in the world, a part of the project was to digitize all previously unattested editions to make the texts globally available. The digital versions were then included in both Alvin and Delpher, the Dutch national digital library.[55]

The third stage of the project documents the provenances and book bindings of the texts in the Leufsta Library in Alvin. Simple information of this kind has also been a part of the cataloguing in Libris, but Alvin has better capabilities to register such details as the purpose of the database is fundamentally different, and it is possible to add images to the catalogue data. True for all records on the Leufsta Library, but not explicitly mentioned in them, is, of course, that Charles the Entomologist, Charles the Politician, or Carl De Geer owned the books in the library (excluding those owned by Hedvig Ulrika). Only the owners of books that can be documented before they arrived at the library are registered; however, there are only a few of these books. As previously noted, books were mostly bought new from book dealers. However, some antiquarian acquisitions were made, including the manuscripts and prints that had previously been owned by Olof Rudbeck the Younger. These items received special attention in the project, so we will examine them further here.

It has been well established that Charles the Entomologist bought books from Olof Rudbeck the Younger both before Rudbeck’s death and from the auction after his death. Erik Hamberg discovered some years ago that books with annotations from both Rudbecks had a handwritten number in them, either on the inside of the front cover or on the spine of the book, which corresponded to the auction number of the books when they were sold in 1741, after Rudbeck the Younger’s death. This could easily be verified in the printed auction catalogue, which is still extant.[56] Therefore, books that did not have any other sign of previous ownership could be connected to Rudbeck.[57] If the handwritten number and the title of the book agreed with number and title in the auction catalogue, we know with certainty the provenance of the book. Using this method, we confirmed that 62 titles in the Leufsta Library were acquired at the auction after Rudbeck’s death in 1741. As part of our project, we digitized all these books in their entirety and they are now digitally available in Alvin. Many of the volumes contain underlines and marginal notes. It is fantastic to be able to follow such traces from the reading of two of the most important characters in the intellectual history of early modern Sweden.

Although the Rudbecks have a special place among the previous owners of books in the Leufsta Library, there are several other important names. We registered all provenances both in Libris and in Alvin, and in the latter we documented evidence of previous ownership (signature, ex libris, dedication, etc.) with photographs and metadata. The digitization has, in this case, focused on details with the greatest informational value from a copy‑specific perspective. Provenance, after all, is important both for book historians and for any researchers with a critical approach to sources. Among the previous owners of books in the Leufsta Library we find names such as the Uppsala professor Anders Spole (1630–1699),[58] the learned clergyman from Linköping Samuel Älf (1727–1799),[59] the seventeenth century Chancellor of the Swedish Realm Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie (1622–1686),[60] and the eminent Dutch poet Constantijn Huygens (1596–1687).[61] We even find a volume that has come to Sweden as spoils of war in the 1640s, from the Jesuit College of Olomouc in Moravia.[62] The initials of book dealers have generally been included in the provenance information. The previously mentioned Gottfried Kiesewetter, for example, wrote GK at the bottom of the title page in the books he sold. This is now documented and searchable both in Libris and Alvin.

Regarding book bindings, there are only a few items that are especially noteworthy: two richly decorated Bibles and one Book of Psalms. These have been digitally documented in Alvin with a more detailed description.[63] The other bindings are mostly similar, supposedly made locally in Uppsala, Gävle, and Stockholm when they have not been acquired from previous owners. Several books have been bound much later than the other ones—we do not know by whom, but probably sometime during the nineteenth century—and they stand out in the library, with their especially clear and rich golden spines.

The last stage of the project was to create links between the descriptions for the same book across different databases. The aim is to build an infrastructure that helps the user access information about the same item in the different places it is listed. Therefore, we link Libris to Alvin in cases when more detailed copy information can be found or when fully digitized texts are available. At the same time, we link Libris to the corresponding record or records in the STCN. In Alvin, there are internal links between related records as well as back to Libris and STCN. In addition, for the books previously owned by the Rudbecks, we provide links in Alvin to the page where the book is listed in the digital version of the auction catalogue that was printed when they were sold. Therefore, the user can easily verify details about title and auction number. This kind of work with detailed copy documentation and links to related resources could also be expanded as the archive material concerning the library is very rich and the foundation is now in place for such research.

Indeed, the project has digitized many different items from the Leufsta Library. This digitization includes all kinds of material, including the 25 letters from Luchtmans, the book dealer in Leiden; Charles the Entomologist’s bibliographic annotations in periodicals; all library catalogues from the time (in which we can also see shelf marks and acquisition prices); and lists of books inherited from Charles the County Governor. In the future, we can easily expand the copy‑specific information for titles in Alvin so that it also links to their mention in older archive material.

In connection with the project, some renovations were also made to the interiors of the physical library, including restoring the original wall colour, ceiling colour, and gilt on the bookshelves. Admittedly, the physical library at Leufsta has some challenges. Nevertheless, the books are in surprisingly good condition in the small eighteenth‑century building located so close to the water. The next section details items of other kinds belonging to the library that have not been a part of this survey.

Other Collections in the Library

The library has a collection of engravings, which includes approximately 2000 leaves with portraits and genre studies from French, English, and Italian engravers collected both by Charles the Entomologist and Charles the Politician.[64] The engravings, which are all stored at Carolina Rediviva in Uppsala, are currently being digitally catalogued in Alvin.

Texts related to music were not part of this project, as these items have already been examined, registered, and digitized in Alvin. The library’s collection of texts related to music include 199 manuscripts and prints of vocal and instrumental music from the first half of the eighteenth century. Most were acquired by Charles De Geer the Entomologist in the Netherlands, although more were added after the collection was brought to Sweden. These acquisitions included music by well‑known composers such as Händel and Vivaldi as well as lesser‑known composers and several anonymous and unique prints.[65]

The library room includes a pair of globes (23 in.), one celestial and one terrestial, made in 1766 by Anders Åkerman (1721–1778), who was the globe maker of the Royal Society of Sciences at Uppsala.[66]

Further information on the books and the library at Leufstabruk can be found in collections and rich archival material extant outside of Uppsala University Library: for example, at the Leufsta Bruksarkiv at Lövstabruk; in the Leufsta archive at the National Archives (Stockholm); and in the Antiquarian Topographical Archives (Stockholm). Today, the natural history collections of Charles the Entomologist are kept at the Natural History Museum in Stockholm. Unfortunately, the correspondence of Charles the Entomologist seems to be lost.[67]

The Leufsta Library in the Future

The many country house libraries in Sweden are a true goldmine for the historians of many disciplines. Our country has avoided the wars and other major events that have scattered the collections of other nations, and the many entailments in place, controlling how property passes from owner to heir, have ensured that collections have been kept intact. The problem is usually access. Because collections are often privately owned, they are not available to researchers in a wider sense. Where collection catalogues exist, they are usually hopelessly outdated. As Leufstabruk became publicly owned in 1986 after having been an entailed estate for more than 250 years, it has preserved the conditions for studying how its book collection changed over time. Clearly, very little has happened here as bookmarks can still occasionally be found between the book pages. Another favourable circumstance is that so much archival material is still extant.[68]

The present text provides an updated description of the Leufsta Library based on the current state of research and the recent infrastructure project, The Library of Leufstabruk. The possibilities for further studies are almost endless. As we have suggested, some of them might concern the history of Hedvig Ulrika’s books, or the renovation and reconstruction of the physical library, or the place of books in daily life at Leufsta. The fact that so many books are still in the library, together with notes from their first readers, archival material from both buyers and sellers, and much more that concerns the history of the collections, makes the conditions very favourable for investigations regarding the early modern book market, knowledge circulation, and country house reading culture, to mention just a few aspects. At the same time, Leufstabruk must surely be considered part of a larger collection as material from Leufstabruk has been scattered across several Swedish institutions. This circumstance calls for cooperation among these institutions. Wider investigations on reading and books in Swedish country house libraries, however, must start with better digital access. The libraries of Säbylund, Borrestad and Skokloster are all examples of previously private book collections now owned by the Swedish state. These libraries make it both possible and desirable to conduct further research.

The work with the book collections of Leufstabruk will now enter a new phase. An international symposium on the library was held in the summer of 2022. While encouraging research on the library and its contents, we need to prioritize the long‑term preservation of the books in their original location. Therefore, digital solutions for access are invaluable.[69]