The Jubilee Archive: Initial Inventory, Digitization and Analysis of the University of Gothenburg Library’s Collection of Information About the City’s 300-year Jubilee in 1923 is a pilot project based on press accounts of the celebration of the three hundredth anniversary of the city of Gothenburg’s founding. The most magnificent element of the celebration was the so-called Jubilee Exhibition, which spanned from Götaplatsen to Liseberg and from 8 May through 15 October served as the hub of the city’s public space. Interest in the exhibition was tremendous, with a total of 4.2 million visitors, of which 41,000 came from abroad. Its organisation, size and programme made it a frequent feature of stories in the Swedish and international press of the day, whose increasingly modern communications methods spread news, reports, interviews and pictures faster and to more people than ever before.
A hundred years later, the Jubilee Archive pilot project inventories and analyses the media actors and the material they published about the jubilee – both to preserve a unique archive of material and to use machine-driven digital analysis to generate new information about Gothenburg and its role as a city of learning. The material for the study comprises five folders of a unique collection about the Jubilee Exhibition that are preserved in the University of Gothenburg Library. The entire collection comprises 69 folders of press clippings, with each folder containing some 200 pages. In total, the collection includes an estimated 40–50,000 articles. The material is now very fragile and hard to handle, and portions of it have begun to disintegrate. Therefore, the Jubilee Archive pilot project is also a cultural, sociological, local, linguistic, mass media and economic historical effort to save a unique collection for future research, teaching and public access.
By digitizing and mechanically inventorying the five folders (about 1000 pages) in the University Library’s collection of material from the Jubilee Exhibition, the project studies what kinds of information and knowledge machine-driven analysis of press material can generate about the way language, images and media were used in 1923, about the individuals and institutions responsible for it, and about Gothenburg as a city of learning. The project materials and findings will be made perpetually accessible online for future use. The long-term ambition is for this pilot project to be only the first step in a necessary intervention to save all of the University Library’s collection about the 1923 Jubilee Exhibition.