Carolina Rediviva, Uppsala

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  • Carolina Rediviva
    by Maline
  • Maline's Profile Photo

    The University Library Carolina Rediviva

    by Maline Updated Jun 17, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Carolina Rediviva Library stands on top of the Carolina hill (Carolinabacken), the hill next to the one where the Castle stands.

    The library building was built in the early 1800's, and the library is Sweden's oldest university library. It was founded in 1620!

    Every published book or paper in Sweden finds its way into the Carolina archives, and it is supposed to have some 5 million books on the shelfs. Where the rest of it goes, I don't know, I think a vault or something.

    The major part of the library is exclusively for the students of the Uppsala university, but just to the right as you enter the building, there is an exhibition room of old books and manuscripts, worth making a visit to. Among the publications you can find the famous Silver Bible, which is from the 6th century. Some years ago it was stolen though, and later returned, so it may be just a copy on display these days, for security reasons.

    To the left inside the building is a student café. Nothing fancy, but really cheap (or it was some years ago), if you want a quick cup of coffee.

    If you wish to enter the interior, you must try to look like a student. If you feel overaged, don't worry, researchers well into their seventies go here too, so just act natural okay?! Put your coats and bags into one of the lockers located on the right, a bit further in than the exhibition room. Then enter the door with the sign "Students and researchers only". Now you are in, and you can have a look at all the books and the students cramming for their exams. Keep your voice down. And don't take pictures, remember, you are NOT a tourist...!

    Carolina Rediviva is the center of everyone's attention each April 30th. A exactly 3 pm, the current principal of the university waves his white graduation hat from the library balcony, and the thousands upon thousands of people having gathered on the streets below lift their hats too, and wave right back. Weird? No, it is a tradition!

    To see a Swedish graduation hat, see my travelogue on my Sweden page called "lite bilder".

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Museum Visits

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