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KvinnSam new Research Infrastructure at the University of Gothenburg

In April it was decided that KvinnSam, the National Resource Library for Gender Studies in Sweden, will be established as a research infrastructure at the University of Gothenburg. Based on the new conditions, KvinnSam will focus on increased visibility, availability and searchability of library resources.

Anna Johansson is a university librarian and started working at KvinnSam 2012. She has been the coordinator for KvinnSam for three years, but her title is now changing to director.

“This appointment means that we meet the definition and criteria for setting up a university community research infrastructure, and that we are a unique resource in Sweden,” says Anna Johansson.

She explains that it involves a number of organizational changes, such as that KvinnSam gets a director and a steering group. They will start working on three-year planning in terms of the organizational plan, communication plan and financing plan.

The change also means that KvinnSam reports annual follow-up to the principal and that their activities is evaluated every three years.

“This gives us increased cooperation with the university, increased visibility and opportunities for more collaborations with researchers,” she says.

KvinnSam’s goal as a research infrastructure is to be even more accessible than before, and to make resources more visible for users of the resource library, the database KVINNSAM and the KvinnSam archives.

Conference and exhibition about gender and archives

In 2018 it has been 60 years since KvinnSam was founded. This will be celebrated with a jubilee conference on October 26, 2018 on the theme personal archive and gender research. The conference is organized together with Uppsala University Library, and will visualize archival value from a research perspective.

Key note speakers from Sweden, Denmark and Norway have been invited to present examples of both older women’s history and more contemporary archives.

“With the conference, we hope to broaden the understanding of gender in relation to archives. We also want to bring together professionals, academics and interested public and create contact areas for further cooperation”, says Anna Johansson.

The jubilee is also marked with an exhibition about KvinnSam at the Humanities Library at the University of Gothenburg, September 14 – November 1.

Working for increased searchability, accessibility and visibility

KvinnSam’s new director says they are striving for improved information provision for research through database development. They want to improve tagging, indexing and structure to increase searchability in KvinnSam’s resources.

“We also wish to broaden and expand our activities and competencies, especially within archive, communications, pedagogy, research and application procedures.”

In conclusion, Anna Johansson says that KvinnSam also is looking into the possibility of applying to the Swedish Research Council to become a National Research Infrastructure. If such an application is submitted and granted remains to be seen. However, it is clear that KvinnSam has come a long way in its 60 years, and that the operation has many plans for the future.

Text by Paulin Nande