Swedish National Heritage Board > Collections

Berit Wallenberg (1902–1995) was a Swedish archaeologist and art historian, with old mural paintings in churches as scientific speciality. She took part in many archaeological excavations in Sweden, and all her life she devoted herself to studies of the cultural heritage, both in Sweden and abroad. Her home parish Lovö west of Stockholm city was very dear to her, and she was actively committed in the local heritage association. The Church was one of her greatest concerns, and as an antiquarian she was deeply involved in the restoring of her parish church at Lovö Island in 1935. As a young girl she practised some dancing by the Dalcroze method and she also participated in the Girl Scout movement.

As a teenager Berit Wallenberg began photographing. She always brought her camera on the many travels she made in Sweden and abroad, sometimes with her family or with other students, sometimes on her own and under modest conditions. The main purpose of her travels was to study art, architecture and archaeology, and she used the camera for documentation. Still, many of her photos show people, family, fellow students and friends. Archaeological excavations in Sweden are frequently documented.

Most of the photos in the collection on Flickr Commons are from the period 1920-1939. They are taken at home in Stockholm or on travels in Sweden and in other European countries, for example: Italy, Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, England, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Ireland.

Berit Wallenberg was born into the influential Wallenberg family with bankers, industrialists, politicians and diplomats. A relative of hers was Raoul Wallenberg (1912-1947), who saved the lives of thousands of Jewish Hungarians during his diplomatic service at the Swedish Legation in Budapest in the last period of the Second World War. Two photos in the album “Berit Wallenberg – Sweden” show Raoul Wallenberg as a graduate student in 1930.

The entire collection of more than 25,000 photographs was presented by Berit Wallenberg as a gift to the Swedish National Heritage Board in the beginning of the 1980s, as she hoped the photos would be of interest for future research. About 5,000 of the photos are today digitized in the Board’s photo database online, thanks to financial contribution from the Berit Wallenberg Foundation.