De la Gardie Collection

The collection is named after Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie (1622-1686). It contains 65 works in 42 manuscript volumes which were donated to the University Library in 1669.

The collection is listed in exquisite calligraphy on vellum in a deed of gift that is preserved in the Library. At that time De la Gardie was also the Chancellor of the University. Apart from the Silver Bible and the Edda there is a Chinese book about blood pressure in Confucian script. The rest of the donation comprises principally of historic and Old Icelandic manuscripts, many of which were bought in 1651 from the widow of the Danish historian Stefanus Johannes Stephanius.

The Chancellor of the Realm Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie is the benefactor that the Library is indebted to for the Codex argenteus and the Uppsala Edda, two of its most precious treasures. He collected both manuscripts and books often using the help of commissioners and couriers. When he acquired the Silver Bible from Queen Christina's former librarian Isaac Vossius in Amsterdam, he did so following a tip from Esaias Pufendorf, who was a diplomat working partly on Sweden's behalf.

Source: Munkhammar, Lars: "The Collectors", in The Apples of their Eyes - collectors' collections at Uppsala University Library, ed. Xtina Wootz, (Uppsala universitetsbiblioteks utställningskataloger 47), 2008.


Celsius, Olof d.y., Uppsala universitetsbiblioteks historia, translated from Latin into Swedish by Sten Hedberg with comments by Gert Hornwall, Stockholm, 1971 (original 1745). 

The manuscripts of the De la Gardie Collection are registred in Alvin - platform for digital collections and digitized cultural heritage.


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