Eva Åhrén, Hagströmer Library

Eva Åhrén

Operations director

Department and organisational affiliation:

About me

I am Operations Director the Hagströmer Medico-Historical Library and KI Medical History and Heritage, which is a section in the President’s Office. Our mission is twofold:

  • To preserve, develop and make KI:s heritage collections available to scholars, students and the general public.
  • To research and communicate KI:s history, within a larger context of the history of medicine, healthcare and the life sciences.

The collections in our care consist of older books and periodicals, manuscripts, photographs, art prints, scientific instruments and preparations, and KI:s art collection. The section consists of two units: the Hagströmer Library, and Research and Collections. We are currently located in the old Haga Courthouse, but we are preparing to move to Campus Solna in 2022.

I am also in charge of the effort to integrate culture and science at KI, a mission related to KI:s Strategy 2030. I am a member of KI:s Culture Council and a leader of the research team in History of Science and Medicine, which is a part o Center for Healthcare Ethics at LIME. Our research deals with medical and scientific history in Stockholm from the sixteenth century until now, within national and global contexts. KI, and its predecessor Collegium Medicum, have played prominent parts in this history.

In 2002 I received my PhD from the cross-disciplinary research department Health and Society at Linköping University. Since then, I have taught cultural history and history of medicine; conducted research in the history of medicine and science; and worked as Senior Curator and Head of Research at the Nobel Museum in Stockholm (2003-2007).

Research description

My own research focuses on materiality, visuality and epistemology in nineteenth-century life science and Karolinska Institutet. For example, I study the role of specimen preparations and museum work for knowledge production; the impact of scientific networks on research and education; the development and use of visual media (e. g. drawings, prints, photography, and models) and mediations in research and education. One of my research projects deals with the creation and use of wax moulages (cast models of body parts with skin and venereal disease) at KI and its teaching clinics.

Before I came to KI in 2013, I was Researcher at the U. S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), studying early bacteriology and NIH history. During the years 2007-2010, I had a research project at Uppsala University, funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond for the Advancment of the Humanities and Social Sciences. This project dealt with KI’s nineteenth-century museums of Anatomy, Pathology, Pharmacology, Forensic medicine and more.

Education

MA, History of Science and Ideas, Stockholm University, 1994

PhD, Program in Heatlh and Society, Linköping University, 2002

Postdoc, History of Medicine, Yale University, 2005-2006

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