As much as I consider myself well acquainted with my hometown, running around at galleries and what not, there are gems still to be discovered. One of them was the Nobel library.
I had come across it before; as I often read outside mainstream tastes I do the oddest searches and every now and again something that I want to read is only available at a few places in Sweden, and the only place in Stockholm being the Nobel library. In those cases I have often opted to buy the book(this happened a few times when I was working myself through that long(long) list of mine).
This time that wasn’t an option, the book in question is out of print and very few copies are available, so it was time to make a visit.
The Nobel library is found in Old town, just around the corner from the Nobel Museum(which isn’t all that interesting to be honest) and it’s also “the home” of the Swedish academy; the people who decide who gets the Nobel prize in literature. They have their meetings in the same building and the library was created primarily for their use. There is a clause in the agreement you sign to get a library card that if a member of the academy wants the book you have borrowed you must return it in advance.
They have a lot of books , not that you are allowed to browse (at least not if you are a mere mortal). There is an old fashioned process of filling in a card, handing it to the librarian and then they get it for you. Opening times are very limited(however they are open in the evening on Thursdays) but I plan to make use of them in future.
They do have the nicest reading room and a large selection of magazines that you are not allowed to take home; spending a little time there that isn’t a bad idea.
If nothing else it’s worth a little visit as this is one of the places where history and modern times sort of collide. You search on their computers for the info to fill in a paper card with your book request ; it’s archaic and very charming at the same time.
More info about the Nobel library can be found here.