Sweden: Central School Board Archives
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(Skolöverstyrelsens arkiv, SÖ)
The Central School Board (Skolöverstyrelsen, SÖ) existed from 1919 to 1991 and had responsibility for school and adult education in Sweden and periodically for vocational training as well. There are 86 archival catalogs. Search further in the catalogs and indexes for these collections. More detailed guidance to school board records (SÖ) is found in the guidance binder (handläggarpärmen) in the National Archive’s research office.
Most frequently sought material
- 1 Teacher Certification (Behörighet för lärare), see Teachers (lärare)
- 2 Grades/Certificates (Betyg).
- 3 Libraries (Bibliotek).
- 4 Student health (Elevhälsa).
- 5 Private Schools (Enskilda skolor, Privatskolor).
- 6 Health cards.
- 7 Inspectors’ reports.
- 8 Catalogues and annual reports.
- 9 Teachers.
- 10 Textbooks and teaching aids.
- 11 Curriculum.
- 12 General Education Examinations, see Examinations.
- 13 Written communication
- 14 Examinations.
- 15 Government grants/subsidies.
- 16 High School (student) examinations, see Examinations.
- 17 Swedish Schools in Foreign Countries.
- 18 Annual Reports, see Catalogues.
- 19 Military Defense.
- 20 Annual Reports see catalogues.
- 21 Reference
Teacher Certification (Behörighet för lärare), see Teachers (lärare)
Copies of grade records (betygsprotokollen) were sent in to the SÖ during certain periods. Original grade records are in the school archives (skolarkiven). High school (student) and certificate of general education (realexamensbetyg) records exist for the period 1920—1968 and 1920—1973 respectively. For higher level schools, higher elementary schools (folkskolor) and girls’ schools and such 1948—1964. Seminaries 1963—1976, teacher colleges 1962—1976. For high school (student) records from 1864—1919, see Ecclesiastical Department (Ecklesiastikdepartmentet), Statistical Section, (statistiska avdelning) series Hlacc, (serie HIaac.)
Central School Board oversight included school libraries. Training of librarians (elementary and high school) was handled by SÖ 1926—1972. Extensive material regarding the library school is found in the collections of the library departments (bibliotekssektionerna) and library school (biblioteksskolan).
Student health (Elevhälsa).
School physicians’ annual reports can be found in the secondary school department (läroverksavdelningen), the school hygiene department (skolhygienroteln), and in the office of student care (byrån för elevvård). These records may also be found in the Inspectors’ Reports (inspektörernas berättelser) see “Inspectors”, in the statistical office, physical education exemptions and also in the physical education section (gymnastiksektionen) which includes information regarding students’ health.
Private Schools (Enskilda skolor, Privatskolor).
Information is available for 1904--1991 in the high school division (läroverksavdelning) and organization division (organisationsavdelning) 1920—1964, in the organization and administrative department 1952—1964, in the planning and coordinating divisions J/PS 1982—1991 and in the division for compulsory education O-division (O-avdelning) 1982—1991. In addition one may also search in the journals for the planning division (diarerierna för planneringsavdelningen) 1964—1991, school teaching division, in J/PS in the O-division as well as the division for high schools (gymnasieskolan).
These were sporadically maintained on paper and microfilm in the office for student care (byrån för elevvård) 1958—1983. The reason for this is a decision that was made to send the health cards in to the SÖ (Central School Board/Skolöverstyrelsen) every fifth year to be filmed, after which they would be destroyed. An exception was made for special schools (for mentally retarded children).
School inspectors’ yearly reports contain descriptions of not only teaching, but also students’ health status, information on school buildings, etc. There are also some statistics. The annual reports are found in the elementary school archives (folkskolavdelnings arkiv) 1919—1952, in the divisions for upper level students archives (äldre undervisningsavdelningen arkiv) 1952-1963 and are searched by collection number journals (samlingsnummerdiarier). Also included are inspectors’ reports for nomad schools. High school inspectors replaced “censors” in 1966 and functioned until 1982. There are reports for the time period 1969—1982 in the S 2 office for high schools (gymnasieskolan).
Catalogues and annual reports.
Printed school catalogues and annual reports were sent in during certain periods. There are catalogues from 1918—1964 for elementary (folkskole-), high school (läroverks-) and the organization divisions (organisationsavdelningarna). There are also annual reports for the foregoing collections. There are annual reports for adult education schools (folkhögskolor) 1913—1961 and 1970—1991 in the adult education department (folkbildningsroteln), the unit for adult education schools. There is information about students in the library section 1925—1964 and library school 1964—1972, for teachers and students in schools for the mentally handicapped (särskolor) 1972—1982 in the section for special education, participants in SFI-education (“Swedish for Immigrants”) 1971—1982 in the adult education division’s SFI-section, for national (boarding) prep schools in the division for high school education office and lists of teachers who have gone through in-service training.
SÖ personnel rolls were kept for AMU-teachers through 1985 . Administrative personnel actions regarding teachers exist for 1919—1964 in high school and elementary school divisions and in the organization division from 1965 in respective school archives. Resumes, job applications and appointments and questions regarding qualifications are found in many of the SÖ collections as well as travel per diem and expense reimbursements together with courses and in-service training and may be searched in the journals of respective collections.
Textbooks and teaching aids.
Information regarding textbooks is in the SÖ teaching division (undervbisningsavdelning), SÖ’s teaching materials committee (läromedelsnämnd), and the unit for research and development planning (FOU) and teaching materials questions. This may also be researched among curriculum (records).
In the SÖ education division (undervisningsavdelning) and also in the administration division’s (administrativavdelning) collections information related to school curricula may be found under Series B, Concept and also in Series F, subject matter actions. Curriculum information can also be found in both information unit collections (informationsenheternas arkiv) under series B. It is also available in the printed “News from the National Board of Education” (“Aktuellt från SÖ”) ASÖ 1948—1977 and in the SÖ code of statutes (författningsamling) SÖ-FS 1977—1990. Printed curricula are in the “Swedish Code of Statutes” (“Svensk författningsamling”) SFS.
Testing. Information regarding test formulation, performance calculations, centralized and standardized tests from about 1964 through about 1984 is available in SÖ’s section for testing and evaluation and in the evaluation unit records. During the first half of the 1980’s testing was decentralized to the high schools. There is, however, information regarding standardized tests and central testing in later times in SÖ’s PS-department. In addition there is information in these collections regarding tests for KOMVUX 1985—1991 and diagnostic information for career directed courses 1984—1988.
General Education Examinations, see Examinations.
To and from SÖ from 1964—1991 with related journals are archived in special collections called “registratur”. These writings can be found in the respective collections from 1919—1964.
Information on which essay subjects were included 1918—1964 in the essay portion of the student exam (final examination for high school students) is found in circulars in the high school division (läroverksavdelning) and in the education division (undervisningsavdelning) along with test results in table format. Essays for the high school (studentexamen) and junior high school/general education (realexamen) were destroyed according to two editing decisions by the National Archives. The result of these decisions is that for the most part, Swedish (high school) student essays are preserved in (individual) school archives. The junior high school/general education (realexamen) records were destroyed except for certain schools.
(Financial support) to all but community schools, public libraries, study groups, lecture societies, educational associations, school transports, and room and board went through SÖ and are described in the respective divisions’ collections. In addition, government funding was provided for adult education for “outreach work in neighborhoods” (“uppsökande verksamhet i bostadsområden).
High School (student) examinations, see Examinations.
Swedish Schools in Foreign Countries.
Information regarding schools, teachers and students can be found in several collections: the education division (undervisningsavdelning), organization division (organisationsavdelning), planning division (planneringsavdelning), administrative division (adminstartionsavdelning), economic section (ekonomiska sektion), library section (bibliotekssektion), and in the division for compulsory education (avdelningen för obligatorisk utbildning). Annual reports for state-financed schools outside of Sweden for the period 1970—1982 are found in the planning divisions’ series D4.
Annual Reports, see Catalogues.
During the Second World War, both girls and boys were trained in the public schools to be able to defend themselves and their school in the event of war. It was SÖ’s physical education advisers and school teachers who were involved in this training. Information regarding this activity is found in the elementary school section’s “koncept” index and in the physical education division.
Annual Reports see catalogues.
Information from the school and educational area may also be searched in the Ecclesiastical Department (from 1967 Education Department)
NATIONAL ARCHIVE,Office of Research Service, January, 2002