Historisk tidskrift 130:3 • 2010
Innehåll (Contents) 2010:3
Historien i tidningsklipp – tidningsklipp i historien. Klipp
i arkiv, dagbok och bokfilm
Av Johan Jarlbrink
History in newspaper clippings – newspaper clippings in history:
Clippings in archives, diaries and newspaper compilation books
This article investigates how newspaper clippings were used
to represent the past and to store the present for the future.
In the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century
newspapers were often seen as the most important public medium.
Collecting newspaper clippings was a way of organizing and
keeping a record of public and private memories. However, different
ways of collecting created different types of memories. This
process is analyzed in and exemplified by three different collections
of Swedish newspapers.
The first collection is the diary of
Allan Holmström, a private collector, which documents everyday
events from the 1870s to the 19 6 0s. Because Holmström added
clippings and notes to his diary throughout his life, the diary
became an ongoing project of reconstruction of memories rather
than an account of how Holmström first experienced events.
The second collection is an archive of newspaper clippings
founded in 1917 by the Christian foundation Sigtunastiftelsen.
The foundation aimed to collect articles about major issues
but was not interested in everyday ephemeral news. Thus, this
way of collecting reproduced a hierarchy of texts. The third
collection is a series of printed volumes of newspaper clippings
edited and published as ”filmbooks” by Erik Lindorm. He believed
that his volumes allowed history to ”speak with its own voice”.
The clippings and the pages look authentic, with the original
columns and spelling retained, but some of the clippings were
clearly edited to make the collections – and history – more
accessible to modern newspaper readers.
Collections of newspaper clippings
provide a record of the past but are themselves historical
products. Different collections are part of different traditions
and are used in different contexts, which determine what kind
of history they store and transmit. An examination of how these
collections once constructed the memory of the past can provide
a critical perspective on how the archives of today keep a
record of the present.
Sweden, 19th century, 20th century, archives, historiography,
media history, newspaper clippings, press history.