Westin Collection - Manuscripts

The tanner and alderman Jacob Westin donated his large and valuable collection of printed works, pictures, maps and manuscripts to Uppsala University Library at the time of its 4th centenary in 1877. Westin's collection was one of the largest and most valuable collections ever donated to the University Library collected by a single person.

The Westin manuscript collection comprises more than 1,800 volumes, mainly biographies, history and topography, mostly of the Stockholm area.

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Jacob Westin was a tanner and owned a substantial leather making business that had long been in his family and which he took over at the age of 19 on the death of his father. Ten years later he became the master tanner, the last person in Sweden to bear this title. He had a number of municipal assignments and even sat in the parliament among the Estate of the Burghers. The family had been wealthy for several generations and in 1857 Westin was able to leave the leather manufacturing industry to spend more time on his collecting which consisted of printed books, maps, pictures and manuscripts. 

As a collector, Westin's heart was in Stockholm and particularly Kungsholmen, his own part of the city, the area of craftsmanship and industry. But the whole of Sweden is also represented in the areas of geography, history and topography in his manuscript collection. Other subjects that interested Westin  were biography and genealogy as well as trade and business. He managed to acquire 50 or so guild documents from the 17th century and later for his collection: documents relating to boot and shoemakers, saddlers, hatter, tailors, dyers and foundry workers.

Westin decided to donate his large collection to Uppsala University at the time of its 400 year anniversary in 1877. He was awarded an honorary doctorate.

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


Davidsson, Åke, Katalog över Westinska handskriftssamlingen i Uppsala universitetsbibliotek, Uppsala, Kungl. Humanistiska Vetenskapssamfundet, 1989.


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