Astrid Lindgren’s archive at the National Library Manuscript Division in Stockholm is the largest ever bequeathed by a single Swedish individual. It extends across 140 metres of shelves and in 2005 it became inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.
The archive includes an extensive collection of letters from readers across the globe of all ages, as well as book, film, and theatre manuscripts, articles, shorthand pads, press cuttings, royalty accounts for the sales of her books, photos, posters for theatre productions, signed books, essays, and lots more. It also includes copies of letters she wrote herself, but this section is somewhat limited as Astrid Lindgren only rarely made copies of the many letters she wrote.
The archive largely comprises the period between 1933 and 2007. The emphasis is on the period after 1970, when her employment at the publishers Rabén & Sjögren finished. The parts of the archive that had been stored at her home, mostly manuscripts, shorthand work and press cuttings, appear to be largely complete. The collection of manuscripts also includes work from the 1930’s, i.e. before Astrid Lindgren’s official debut in 1944. Through the Astrid Lindgren Company material dated after her passing in January 2002 has also been added to the archive. This includes mainly correspondence in connection to her death and press cuttings. The latter covers the period between 1944 and 2007.
Researchers may, with permission from the Astrid Lindgren Company, gain access to the documents in the archive, but anyone who is interested may look at the index of the documents available, accessible here.
That Astrid Lindgren was a well-read person is something that her books certainly attest to. They are filled with literary quotes and descriptions of how important books were in her life. Her home on Dalagatan was bursting with bookshelves and many books were stored in cupboards and wardrobes. Her summerhouse in Furusund was also full of books. Many of these have now been transferred to the Astrid Lindgren Archive at the National Library. In total her collection of books included more than 4200 titles.