The primary aim of this book is to encourage and
facilitate the study of history of towns and
municipalities. Various forms of social science
research on Swedish local authorities might
derive advantage from this book. The staff of
local archives and prospective amateur researcher,
for example among the members of local folklore
society, also ought to enjoy the content of this
book. Another purpose of the publication is to suggest continuous comparative studies, where Swedish
municipalities are compared in different ways. The
number of Swedish municipalities was considerably
reduced during the second half of the 20th century.
For that reason it is now the proper time to pursue
comparative studies of municipalities which no longer
exist and are replaced by greater administrative units.
Too much of the previous research has been done as
case studies of one singular rural district. It should be emphasized that many local investigations have been
done by amateur researcher who have not always
used a reliable scholarly scientific course of action.
The source material for the proposed inquiries should
mostly be taken from the Swedish municipal archives.
In principle all the 290 present municipalities have their
own archives, which means that there is a large
supply of source material in the whole country.
This is one of the greatest advantages of working
with this type of historical source material. In
the archives material is stored from the introduction
of the current standard of municipality in 1863 and on.
It deals thus with the period of more than 140 years
during which the Swedish society has changed
dramatically. Local material from towns and rural
districts concerning the time up to 1862 is normally
found in the national provincial record offices, so it
is not always easily accessible from a geographical
point of view.
The book has been divided into a number of thematic
fields, such as municipal divisions, local politics,
the role of women in local politics, municipal finances
and economic expansion, social welfare, educational
systems, environmental issues, health care, fire
protection the technical sector and cultural and
recreational activities. This grouping means, that
strictly speaking it is enough to read the sphere
in which you show a keen interest, except the two
introductory chapters, considering comprehensive
facts in the field of municipal history. Each thematic
field is then regularly divided into four items,
background and earlier research, proposals for future
research, limits of interpretation and source material.
This order has not been used earlier, and the footnotes
should give comparatively many references to other
works which could be useful.
Key words: source material, archives, municipalities, local politics.
Stads- och kommunhistoriska institutet, Stockholm , 2005. , 290 p.