Publications from the Russian Revolution

The University Library has an extraordinary collection of books, pamphlets, magazines, newspapers and posters from the time of the Russian revolution and the first five years of the Soviet regime.

The majority of this material was collected by a young, Swedish man, working as a diplomat and with humanitarian aid, Torsten Lundell (1889-1970). Lundell worked for the Swedish Foreign Office and the Red Cross in Petrograd (St. Petersburg) from 1917 to 1921 .f

Anatolij Lunačarskij, the People's Commissar of Enlightenment, granted Torsten Lundell permission to collect two copies of all items that were printed during the October Revolution and the years that followed. In this way he managed to collect a considerable amount of material that he took home with him on his return and which he donated to Uppsala University Library. There are rare and even unique items in the collection.

The collection consists of three categories: books and pamphlets, newspapers and posters.

Books and pamphlets

Ordinary books are integrated with other books in the Library and can be found in Catalogue 1962 or in our library catalogue Disa. Not all the political pamphlets are catalogued. A simple list was made in 1923 of the non-catalogued material and this typewritten catalogue is kept in the catalogue room at Carolina Rediviva.

The non-catalogued items are held in boxes and folders (on the shelves marked Historia/ Ryssland/1917- /Kaps.) together with items that have been acquired subsequent to Lundell's donation. Contact the Section for Early Printed Books for this material.  


A typewritten catalogue recording all issues of the newspapers is available in the catalogue room. Geographically the collection covers the Old Russian Empire and to some extent emigrant newspapers. This catalogue is also in the catalogue room at Carolina Rediviva.


The collection consists of 116 illustrated posters. It is believed that roughly 3,000 posters, from all those which were published, have been preserved. The poster collection at the University Library is therefore only a small but nevertheless a representative selection. 

All posters are digitised and available in Alvin - platform for digital collections and digitised cultural heritage: Posters from the Russian revolution.

Further reading

  • Kjellberg, Lennart, "The collection of prints from the Russian revolution in the Uppsala University Library". (In: Otium et negotium: studies in onomatology and library science presented to Olof von Feilitizen. - Stockholm: Kungl. biblioteket, 1973. - (Acta Bibliothecae regiae Stockholmiensis; 16). - P. 181-187)


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