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Utländska biblioteket i Karlskrona 1835–1864: om högreståndskvinnors organisation och läsning
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM.
2014 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Utländska biblioteket in Karlskrona 1835–1864 : On the Organization and Reading of High Born Women (English)
Abstract [en]

This master's thesis studies Utländska biblioteket, a 19th century foreign literature subscription library in Karlskrona, Sweden. The aim of the thesis is to investigate Utländska biblioteket between 1835–1864.

The material consists primarily of primary sources from the archive of Utländska biblioteket. The main primary sources are the library's accounts book, its minutes, and two book catalogs. Using analytical tools from Jürgen Habermas, feminist criticism of his ideas and from Pierre Bourdieu, as well as results from previous research on older library forms and female organization in the 19th century, the thesis answers questions relating to the library as a society, its members and its book collection.

The investigation shows that Utländska biblioteket was a subscription library as well as a book circle. Based on its regulations, it should be viewed as a sort of public sphere, but in reality Utländska biblioteket was an exclusive group, consisting of a socially homogenous group of people who in large extent knew each other. Its members were in large part female and aristocratic. The reading of foreign literature and the focus on quality, can be viewed as an act of distinction.

Utländska biblioteket was, compared to other similar libraries, unusual primarily because of its large female membership. This is in the thesis explained through the viewing of the library as a female organization, where the male members in part play a role as acting agents in the library's contact with for example book dealers. Also, the book collection shows proof of a certain female subject interest. Based on these facts, Utländska biblioteket can be viewed as a female counter public, where women created a space for themselves where they, through the literature and through the membership in a society, could reflect on their identities, as well as make claims on what a woman was and could do.

This is a two years master's thesis in Archive, Library and Museum studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 72 p.
Uppsatser inom biblioteks- & informationsvetenskap, ISSN 1650-4267 ; 622
Keyword [en]
Libraries--History--19th century, Associations, institutions, etc, Women in public life, Karlskrona, Sweden
Keyword [sv]
bibliotekshistoria, föreningar, kvinnor i det offentliga livet, 1800-talet, Karlskrona
National Category
Information Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-225271Local ID: 622OAI: diva2:720473
Subject / course
Library and Information Science
Educational program
Master Programme in ALM
Available from: 2014-06-04 Created: 2014-05-29 Last updated: 2014-06-04Bibliographically approved

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