ID: 19

PLOOM, Lennart; HAYEN, Mats


Archivist at Stockholm City Archives, 1996-2000. Head of unit at SCA 2000-2008. Head of department at SCA 2009-2010. City Archivist since 2010.


Archivist at National Archives in Sweden, 1996-1998. PhD Student 1995-2007. Archivist at Stockholm City Archives since 2000. PhD in history in 2007. Author of several scientifical publications.


City Images. An inside view of the marketing potential of Stockholm City´s Memory of the World.

Brief summary:

In 2011 the building drawings in Stockholm City Archives were inscribed on Unesco:s register Memory of the World. The registration created a strong influx of interest in the 2.5 million objects in the collection, which subsequently resulted in different marketing projects. This study reflects on the outcome of the measures undertaken since 2011.


The time and scope of this material – the city of Stockholms current and past buildings for the last 300 years – is a central aspect of the collections status as a Memory of the World. Its complete nature allows researchers to raise questions about many issues: architectural, social, economic and political. But it is also important to note the simple fact that these drawings are images. Their status as images makes them readable all over the world. Since 2011 Stockholm City Archives has been involved in several projects where the images contained within the city´s Memory of the World have been used. The most important of these projects is the production of a book about the collection between 1713 and 1913. The book was produced in cooperation with the commercial publisher Max Ströms Förlag. The book´s authors were the former city architect Per Kallstenius and the director of the Stockholm City Archives Lennart Ploom. Per Kallstenius has previously produced books about the history, present and future of Stockholm in cooperation with commercial publishers. The images have also been used by Swedish Posten AB (General Swedish Post Administration) for a collection of stamps, in an exhibition at the Stockholm City Archives and in the making of a promotional film about the collection in cooperation with the Stockholm City Building Administration. In this study Lennart Ploom, the City Archivist and one of the authors of the book published by Max Ströms Förlag, reflects on the use of images in the Memory of the World-collection. The text is co-written with PhD Mats Hayen, an archivist and historian at the Stockholm City Archives.

Scientific contribution:

The opening of archives and the increase of images used on different markets is an important process that is currently changing the nature of archives and their commercial role in contemporary society. 

The digital revolution of the past twenty years have created a totally new arena for images contained within the archival sector. With digital access and with the creation of news ways of enabling uses of images under different levels of copyright control a market is quickly developing, with both commercial and non-commercial interests at stake. The authors of this study, director of the Stockholm City Archives Lennart Ploom and PhD Mats Hayen, have followed this process from the inside in the case of Stockholm City´s Memory of the World. Our reflections in the study are based on our roles as archivists and historians within the city administration of Stockholm.


UNESCO, Memory of the World, Stockholm City Archives, Sweden, Building drawings, 18th century, 19th century, 20th century, City archives, images, marketing.