People standing in line to vote 1900

Gothenburg through the Ages: Cataloguing, researching and creating access to urban photographs, films and images

Research project

Short description

Gothenburg through the Ages: Cataloguing, researching and creating access to urban photographs, films and images via a database, exhibition and book.
The project catalogues, visualises, analyses and creates access to the history of the city through photographs and film. The purpose is to:

a) catalogue photographs and films, and make them accessible for research and education;

b) publish new and freely accessible research results that can be used in education;

c) collaborate with the local community on cataloguing and registering the material;

d) hold a project exhibition at the Museum of Gothenburg in 2021.

Gothenburg through the Ages Jam

Challenge yourself in the games about Gothenburg! During the last game jam, participants created several games based on material from historical Gothenburg.

Co-financier of the project is Holger och Thyra Lauritzens stiftelse för främjandet av filmhistoriskverksamhet.

Institutions that hold national archives, such as the National Library of Sweden, the Swedish Film Institute, Sveriges Television AB and the Swedish National Archives, will contribute by digitalising and making available empirical source material.


A wide range of activities have taken place as part of the project. A number of these are listed below.

  • At the “Photography and/as Knowledge” conference on 4–5 April 2019, Gothenburg through the Ages was presented by Mats Jönsson, Erika Larsson and Niclas Östlind. 
  • On 15 April, members of the project team welcomed an expert from the Swedish Film Institute (SFI), who helped to identify film collections held by the Museum of Gothenburg and the Regional State Archives in Gothenburg. All the participants received useful tips on how they should continue with their film cataloguing and registration.
  • 25 April saw the presentation of research activities and results from Gothenburg through the Ages at Göteborg & Co’s major Anniversary Meeting in Trädgår’n.
  • On 6 May at Kronhuset, Karl- Magnus Johansson, Mats Jönsson and Kristian Wedel gave a public presentation of their ongoing research and cataloguing work as part of the Gothenburg through the Agesproject. Through dialogues and interviews with local residents, they obtained new contextual information on some of the images catalogued so far.
  • On 23–25 August, the project’s most successful analysis method so far was presented within the framework of the History Days event, with five separate archival lines of enquiry and stories generated from a single photograph.
  • On 26 September, a public talk about Gothenburg through the Ages was given on Göteborgs-Posten’s stand at the Gothenburg Book Fair.
  • 27 September saw some of the project members give a joint talk in English during one of the sessions at the international “UNESCO MIL Feature Conference 2019”, which was held at Svenska Mässan and attracted over 350 delegates from 55 countries.
  • On 8 October, selected members of the project team travelled to the National Library of Sweden’s film archive in Grängesberg – partly to learn more about the archive’s ongoing digitalisation of Gothenburg-related amateur film collections, and partly to present the project results so far to colleagues from the National Library and the Swedish Film Institute.
  • On 4–5 November, a seminar on lens media – photography and film – was held at Valand Academy, together with international colleagues, and the opportunity was also taken to present the Gothenburg through the Ages project.
  • On 21 November, the research coordinator gave a talk about the project at Universeum, as part of the City’s collaborative meeting on “Knowledge and Information”.
  • On 1 February, the research coordinator and a colleague from SFI presented the project to around 700 people at Biograf Draken during the Gothenburg Film Festival.
  • On 5 February, the research coordinator presented the project’s activities and results at a research day held at the Department of Cultural Sciences.