Our tasks

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’s vision is to continue the collection of Swedish publications in an era when a growing proportion of them is being published in various digital media.

Our role as the National Library of Sweden

The National Library is responsible for collecting and preserving all Swedish publications, and for making the material available to the public. This means that we offer people the opportunity to read and study everything printed or published in Sweden, including books, magazines, reports, newspapers, manuscripts, maps, pictures, posters, printed music, and ephemera such as mail order catalogs and theater programs.

Support for research libraries

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 National Library performs a number of other functions that benefit libraries in Sweden:

  • We catalogue in the National Bibliography all Swedish printed material sold in bookstores or that is otherwise of general interest
  • We catalogue in various bibliographies items published in Sweden, including newspapers and magazines
  • We microfilm Swedish newspapers.

Research Library

The National Library is a research library with a primary focus on the humanities and social sciences. Accordingly, the library purchases Swedish and foreign literature on subjects including literature, art, theology, history, and archeology.

Last updated: 2008-05-08
Contact person: Peter Axelsson, e-mail: firstname.lastname@kb.se

National Library