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En värdefull berättelse Wallenbergarnas historieprojekt


  • Olsson, Ulf

    (Department of Economic History, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)


This working paper is about how a series of business history projects was launched in the second half of the twentieth century. In connection with the 1956 centenary of the Wallenberg’s bank, the family assembled the necessary expertise to document the first hundred years. In the 1960s the radical left was highly critical of the Wallenberg’s financial and industrial dynasty; the head of the family, Marcus Wallenberg, accordingly initiated an extensive programme of historical research to show what his family and its enterprises had actually done for Sweden’s economic development. The historian and archivist Gert Nylander was entrusted with the task of recruiting scholars for the various projects: biographies of the family’s successive heads and histories of the major companies in which the Wallenbergs had a controlling interest. The two dozen or so business histories are presented in this article along with their authors, of whom I am one. Marcus Wallenberg’s and Nylander’s mutual trust meant that besides being based on excellent access to the sources, these business histories could meet the standards that professional historians expect. Private industrialists’ interest in their own history is liable to clash with the aims of academic research. In my opinion, in this particular case and thanks to a number of circumstances, fruitful collaboration was achieved to the benefit of historical research into Swedish business.

Suggested Citation

  • Olsson, Ulf, 2013. "En värdefull berättelse Wallenbergarnas historieprojekt," Göteborg Papers in Economic History 16, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunhis:0016

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    Cited by:

    1. Öberg, Stefan, 2017. "An introduction to using twin births as instrumental variables for sibship size," Göteborg Papers in Economic History 22, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economic History.

    More about this item


    Wallenberg; Banking History; Sweden; Financial History; Gert Nylander;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N24 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N84 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History - - - Europe: 1913-

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