History of the library

The library dates back to 1895 when King Oscar II donated a small collection of books to the Royal Armoury. But the creation of the library coincides with the museum’s evolution from a romantic, royal cabinet of curiosities, to a scientific institution under the guidance of its director Carl Anton Ossbahr (b. 1859 d. 1925). He owned one of the largest private book collections in Sweden, including literature on weapons and catalogues of weapon collections. Ossbahr donated parts of his collection to the library in 1904. His successor Rudolf Cederström (b. 1876 d. 1944) continued to develop the library, and contributed books, photographs and drawings acquired on his many visits to other museum collections. In the absence of state grants, the library was greatly dependent on donations from the staff and the general public. The expansion of the museum’s publishing activities led to a widespread exchange of catalogues, yearbooks and journals with museums and other institutions at home and abroad.

In 1914 Georg Fleetwood was engaged as a research assistant by the Royal Armoury, and for 32 years he ran the library single-handed. During his tenure, separate premises were organised for the expanding library, which could now be kept open to scholars and the general public.

Since 1978 The Royal Armoury and the library is, together with The Hallwyl museum and Skokloster castle, part of the central government agency (LSH) under the Ministry of Culture.

Today the library is very closely integrated with the museum’s activities, and in recent years has earned special appreciation from members of the re-enactment societies.

The library is housed at Livrustkammaren in the Royal Palace.