Anna Svensson

Researcher at Department of History of Science and Ideas

Visiting address:
Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3P
Postal address:
Box 629
751 26 UPPSALA

Short presentation

My research explores the role of botanical collections over time, paying attention to how different collecting practices have shaped the ways in which plants become knowable or evade capture. My current research - 'Botanical Marginalia', a three-year project funded by the Swedish Research Council - focuses on the widespread practice of pressing plants in books in the early modern period, in relation to the early bound herbarium ('hortus siccus') and current collection management concerns.


  • herbarium
  • history of botany
  • history of collections
  • history of the book
  • pressed plants


Current position, researcher at the Department of History of Science and Ideas, Uppsala University, with the project ”Botanisk marginalia: Pressade växter i böcker som nyckel till en nytolkning av botanikens historia,” 2021–2023, sole applicant (Swedish Research Council).

One-year research stipend from Ridderstads stiftlese för historisk grafisk forskning, May 2020 – April 2021, ”Den botaniska boken: Samproduktion av böcker och botanik i Sverige från Arvid Månsson till Carl von Linné”.

Helge Ax:son Johnsons’ Foundation, October – December 2019; three-month grant for a botanical museum project in Florence, Italy and London.

Lerichi Foundation, June 2018: grant funding one-month research stay at the Botanical Section of the Natural History Museum, University of Florence.

Annals of Science Best Essay Prize 2018: awarded for best current or recent PhD essay in the history of science, technology or medicine, for “‘And Eden from the Chaos rose’: utopian order and rebellion in the Oxford Physick Garden,” Annals of Science, vol. 76 no. 2 (2019).

Ph.D. in History of Science, Technology and Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, defended December 2017: The Quest for Universal Knowledge: Diachronic Histories of Botanic Collections from the Sixteenth Century to the Present (compilation thesis). The project was largely funded by the Swedish Research Council, “Saving Nature: Conservation Technologies from the Biblical Ark to the Digital Archive” 2014-2017, co-applicant with head applicant and main supervisor Sabine Höhler.

M.Sc. in International Museum Studies, University of Gothenburg (2012) and BA in English Language and Literature (University of Oxford, 2008).


Selection of publications

Recent publications

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Anna Svensson