From Plantae et papiliones rariores, Georg Dionysius Ehret, 1748-1759
From Plantae et papiliones rariores, Georg Dionysius Ehret, 1748-1759

The oldest works of literature are from the 15th century, but the greater part is from the 17th and 18th centuries. Here we find a great number of the most important works of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries by eminent scientists such as Linnaeus, Trew, Catesby and Haller. The Bergius Library is stored in a security section at the University Library. It is closed to the public.

Bild på bok av Mark Catesby
Mark Catesby, The natural history of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands ..., London 1731-1743

The Bergius Library was founded and managed by the banker and historian Bengt Bergius, who made most of the purchases. Some books were also supplied by the doctor and botanist Peter Jonas Bergius. After the brothers' death the collection was bequeathed to the Academy of Sciences, which founded the Bergius Foundation in 1791. Today, for practical and security reasons, the collection is kept at the library of Stockholm University. This is one of the most valuable donations ever received by the Academy of Sciences.

According to the will, the library was meant to be used by the professor of the Bergius Foundation (Professor Bergianus) and it was not allowed to remove any of the works from the collection, neither by loan nor by sale. Sources testify that the library was much appreciated by learned men of that time.

The contents of the book collection were strictly arranged according to subject in preference to rarity, although several of the books were rarities even then. The largest subject fields (in size) are: geography and travel books (including maps), medicine (including human anatomy and physiology), botany, zoology, general science and journals, chemistry, mineralogy and economy.