Archives and Library

The archive is divided into text archives, image archives and sound archives. A reference/handling library serves both those of us who work here and our visitors such as researchers, musicians and private individuals who need information about instruments.

The text archive contains catalogs and price lists in original or copies from Swedish and foreign factories for pianos, organ harmoniums, self-playing instruments and piano mechanics. In addition, there are catalogs from art and industrial exhibitions (prints). Of unprinted material there are archival documents relating to the piano and organ industry in Herrljunga with e.g. Bergling’s archive and parts of Sjögren’s business correspondence from the 1940s. The donation from Baumgardt’s piano factory includes some archives as well as the depositions from the Almquist and Nyström families (mainly scrapbooks and photographs). After S. Ljungqvist’s Organ Factory, Vänersborg and Landvetter (1899-1945) there are among other things the order book 1915-1945, accounts, catalogs and price lists, photographs and glass plates of own organs, diplomas from art and industrial exhibitions and a family book. In addition, we build up a collection of copies of archive documents, e.g. patents, and records the existence of archives by domestic piano and organ factories.

The image archive contains original full-scale drawings for pianos, some grand pianos and for keyboards and mechanics. Construction drawings are rare, but here is a collection that is probably unique in Sweden. The image archive also includes photographs of factory buildings and interiors with various stages of production in originals or copies, e.g. the series of photographs from Östlind & Almquist’s production that were taken in 1898 to demonstrate that piano manufacturing had begun and for the 1909 catalog. Three films from the Malmsjö and Östlind & Almquist factories in 1927 and 1936 are, as far as we know, unique. We also have video recordings, including those made by manufacturer Uno Bergling in Herrljunga, and by pianists on the concert stage. The image archive also includes photographs of older foreign instruments as aids in the search for models and ideas for Swedish manufacturers.

The sound archive contains e.g. some 25 interviews, conducted 1977-approx. 1990 with piano manufacturers, piano workers and representatives of the Swedish music trade. In addition, we have laid the foundation for a collection of recordings by Swedish pianists.

The reference/handling library is under construction and will consist of literature on instruments, various makes, piano and organ atlases (number books) and related areas such as technical and industrial history, museum catalogs of instruments and books on the musical and social environments of the piano through the ages.