Stockholmskällan in English
Stockholmskällan is a website that enables you to walk in the footsteps of your predecessors, and to see the traces of history in letters, photos, police reports, maps, film, music, paintings and tips of literature – all geo-tagged and marked out on present day as well as historical maps. (Picture above: "British week" in Stockholm, 1968. Photographer: Ingemar Gram)
What happened in the streets of Stockholm 50, 100 or 700 years ago? The answer is in your smartphone. Stockholmskällan tells the history of the City and its citizens through texts, sound clips and pictures. The combination of different types of artefacts clearly shows how Stockholm evolves - the city has been constantly growing from migration during more than 800 years.
Museums, archives, libraries and schools in co-operation
Stockholmskällan is a cooperation between the Stockholm City Museum, the Stockholm City Archive, the Stockholm City Library and the City of Stockholm Administration of Education. The aim is to enable digitised historical artefacts to the public in general, and especially to schools in order to make it easier to use prime sources when teaching history.
At present the database holds more than 30.000 individual posts. Through Stockholmskällan these posts get visible and usable: The website has about 500.000 individual visitors annually.
Micro and macro perspectives make a greater picture
The aim of Stockholmskällan is to add on to the general history as it is presented in most history books, by making available some of the specific, micro level stories and fragments that together form the bigger picture, the general history. In Stockholmskällan, the history books’ general history at macro level meet the micro level stories through a combination of texts, photographs, art work, maps and other types of digitised historical primary sources.
Stockholmskällan, with its 30.000 historical primary sources, does not claim nor intend to provide a full coverage of Stockholm´s history. However, through the documents and pictures in the database, it is possible to add specific details to the greater, general story. Listening to the many voices of everyday life experiences in past times through texts, pictures, music or documented artefacts bring history closer to us. Life comes buzzeling out of the archives!
Explanatory example: Sweden becomes a democracy
For example: In history books the process of turning Sweden into a democratic society is most often presented simply as a timeline with a fairly short list of dates: The establishment of a two chamber parliament in 1866, the mass strike and the general suffrage for men in 1909, and the general and equal suffrage for both women and men in 1919. Short and concise, this gives an overview of the milestones of the development, but not much information about the people, activities, thoughts, choices and whereabouts that formed that process.
Through Stockholmskällan, the micro level stories meet the general history at macro level, thus contributing to a greater historical understanding. We simply get closer to the actual historical conditions and realities if we also take part of some of the specific details in history. There are newspaper reports on mass demonstration for general suffrage in Stockholm in April 1902; police reports on arrested supporters of the vote days after, containing quotes of private citizens who had this struggle as part of their own reality; pamphlets presenting arguments both in favour of the reforms and against, just to mention a few examples.
These are fragments of history, remains of the process of developing democracy in Sweden. Specific examples like these are often left out when telling the general story but a valuable complement to the time line summary of democratic development mentioned above. Historical primary sources, available through Stockholmskällan, do contribute to that general story, adding on information about the process behind the stops on a timeline. The primary sources give us a sneak peek into the historic