Introduction to the Swedish National Archives (Riksarkivet)

By Eric Schluessel

Researchers working on Xinjiang can face significant difficulty in gathering source material, especially when it comes time to visit the archives. Some young foreign scholars have seen success in the Xinjiang Regional Archives in Urumqi, but all of the other facilities in the region are difficult to access even for Chinese researchers. So, we have to get creative. Fortunately, Sweden is home to some of the world’s richest and by far the most accessible archives of materials specifically on Xinjiang. These are the East Turkestan Collection and the Mission Covenant Church of Sweden collections, both housed at the National Archives in Stockholm, and the Jarring Collection at Lund University. This introduction focuses on the two branches of the National Archives in Stockholm, while a further essay will discuss Lund. Continue reading