Welcome to Tessa's blog

Monday, May 18, 2015

Research in Vadstena

After a complicated four and a half hour trip by three different trains and one bus I arrived in Vadstena Tuesday at noon. I went there to do research at the Regional archive. They have the Swedish Match company archive. The entire Swedish Match archive consists of more than 1000 shelf meters of material. I had "only" requested 51 volumes, containing correspondence, clippings and staff files. It was incredibly interesting to read the correspondence between my great grandfather and his bosses. They discussed everything from importing chlorate and oranges to currency exchange rates and taxes. It's evident that keeping up the normal trade during World War II was close to impossible and they tried to find other suppliers than European ones. Several of my questions were answered by this material. I have found out exactly when he was employed (Nov 11, 1919) and what his salary was (at least some years). After the financial crash of 1932 he was laid off for technical reasons (they couldn't fulfil the statutes of his contract). But he was employed again, with another contract and a considerable pay cut. Others weren't so lucky. Many people lost their jobs at that time.

The archive closed at 8 p.m. that day and I was there until then. The only restaurant I could find was a pizza place, so I went there for a meal. I stayed overnight at a B & B, which was very nice. Old style house with winding stairs. The next morning I made a visit to the abbey church, which is a very large church from the 15th century. It holds the relics of our most famous nun, Saint Bridget (1303-1373). Vadstena is a very picturesque place, but I didn't see much of it as I had to go back to the archive. After one more day of research I was pretty tired and my hand hurt. I had written 32 pages in my notebook. One bus ride and three train rides later I arrived back home late in the evening. It was definitely worth the trip, I have found so many new details about my great grandfather's life and work.

Thursday was a holiday so I got a chance to rest after the archive visit. I spent some time in front of the computer to search for more information about certain things I had read about in the files in Vadstena. Friday I worked, which was rather stressful as we were only three people in the stacks and the other two had desk duty also. In the afternoon I went to the summerhouse. My mother has now moved down for the season. My sister and family were visiting. We did some chores, but also played with the kids and did some minor shopping (my mother wanted to plant flowers in the garden, so we got some). There had been new cabinet doors installed in the kitchen and it looked very nice. My mother is planning on getting new flooring and wallpaper also.

No comments: