Preserving the past to serve the future


  • Anneli Palmsköld Göteborgs universitet
  • Karin Gustavsson Folklivsarkivet med Skånes musiksamlingar
  • Johanna Rosenqvist Linnaeus University


Emneord (Nøkkelord):

Critical craft studies, craft archive, cultural historical inventories, craft knowledge, craft history


Lilli Zickerman (1858–1949) was an entrepreneur who took part in organising the Swedish handicraft associations in the late 19th century. She was also a pioneer in the archives and active in the feminine sphere of textile handicraft. From 1914–1931 she conducted a huge inventory called Swedish Folk Textile Art that consists of more than 24,000 photographs and descriptions of vernacular textiles and manuscripts for a planned series of books and films. By mapping textile handicrafts, she aimed to preserve traditional textile craft techniques to inspire their continued production. Her intention was to create an archive for the inspiration and education of future textile artists. The inventory has had effects that are still apparent today; this paper illuminates the ways in which Zickerman’s ideas about textile handicrafts have contributed to the continuation of Swedish cultural heritage and how it has become an authorised heritage discourse that continues to guide the scholars and practitioners involved in the history of textiles and their production. Here, we will present the first article within an ongoing project on Swedish Folk Textile Art and how it was conducted. We will contextualise the ideas and knowledge that it contains by focusing on Zickerman’s intention to preserve the past to serve the future. From a critical craft perspective, we will discuss geographical mapping as a method for investigating the invent­tory; the inclusion and exclusion of geographical areas, textile techniques, materials and people; the ideas and the knowledge that are expressed in the inventory; and the networks that it created. By doing so, we aim to highlight the connections between people, between people and materials, and between history and the current day.


Anneli Palmsköld, Göteborgs universitet

Professor in conservation specialized in craft science 
Department of Conservation 

Karin Gustavsson, Folklivsarkivet med Skånes musiksamlingar


Johanna Rosenqvist, Linnaeus University

PhD, Associate Professor 
Department of Music and Art


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Hvordan referere

Palmsköld, A., Gustavsson, K., & Rosenqvist, J. (2023). Preserving the past to serve the future : . FormAkademisk, 16(4).

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