Kungliga biblioteket, or “KB”, is the National Library of Sweden. In 1661 the first legal deposit legislation was passed, ensuring that the better part of all publications produced in Sweden were to be gathered centrally. Originally the law was intended as a means for the crown to assert control, as an instrument of censorship. As freedom of speech gradually expanded during the 18th and 19th centuries, legal deposit legislature became ever more a means for collecting and preserving the country’s printed history. In 1979, the legal deposit legislature was broadened to include radio and television broadcasts. In 2012, a new legislation concerning legal deposit of electronically published content was passed and publications published on the Internetare now preserved for the future. The happy result is the expanse of both old and contemporary materials stored securely at KB.

KB has been collecting virtually everything printed in Sweden or in Swedish since 1661. As well as TV and radio programs, also movies and videos distributed in Sweden, Swedish music and computer games are collected.

The National Library of Sweden has three main duties:

  • ​To collect and preserve all Swedish publications, and make the material available to the public
  • ​To serve as the infrastructure for the Swedish research community
  • ​To be a research library, with a primary emphasis on the humanities and social sciences

The National Library coordinates the activities of Sweden’s research libraries. This entails, among other things, central purchasing of licenses for research databases and scientific publications that are then used by universities and other research libraries. The library also operates and maintains the nationwide collective catalogue, LIBRIS, which contains references to six million titles from more than 300 libraries in Sweden.

The collections at KB consists of approximately 140 shelf kilometers and more than 8million hours of audio visual content.

  • ​Half of the collections, 70 km, are books, brochures, posters etc.
  • ​30 km are newspapers
  • ​11 km are ephemera
  • ​7 km are mikrofilm and mikrofiche
  • ​6 km are posters
  • ​5,5 km are maps and pictures •5 km are manuscripts
  • ​0,2 km are music print

The audio visual content consists of video and audio tapes, CDs and DVDs. 2/3 of thecollection is audio and the rest video.In the digital archive there are more than 4 million hours, where 1.8 million hours are digitized by the National Library.



Memory institutions contributing to the analysis of requirements, provision of data sets for testing, dissemination and networking.


Bengt Neiss

Bengt Neiss is an IT-architect and operation manager at the National Library. He has been active in the area of IT since 1985. Since joining the National Library in 1997 hehas been involved in the areas of process and software development, archiving the Swedish web, persistent identifiers and standardization on local, national and international level. His principle area of responsibility is long term preservation of digital content.Since 2009 he has taken part in the work of developing a new system at the national library for e-deposit and long term preservation of digital objects. Since 2010 he has also taken an active part in the work with persistent identifiers and standardization within IETF. Furthermore he has participated in several national as well as international projects among which DigiCULT, TELplus, TIDEN and Nordic Web Archive (NWA).