Alvin is a portal for publishing and long-term preservation of digitised cultural heritage material from library, archival and museum collections. Alvin’s members register and upload digitised material that users worldwide can search, study and download.

The portal houses archives, books, manuscripts, images, maps, artefacts, musicals, videos, audio files and other types of material. Most of the content is readily accessible and free from known copyright restrictions under the Public Domain Mark.

Metadata in Alvin is stored in an internal format. The purpose is to ability to describe different types of resources in a single system. Descriptive elements are based on international standards for archives and libraries. In contrast to traditional library systems, Alvin is designed to support the concept of linked data. All collections, physical volumes, editions, individual texts, persons and so on can be described as different components that can be linked to all other components of the system, either in hierarchical or parallel relationships.

You can link externally to Alvin’s entries using permanent links available on each post page. Most images in Alvin are high resolution and downloadable TIFF files. Thumbnails are available in JPEG format. Through a special image viewer, you can zoom in and out of the files and navigate among them. Computer access to the material is possible through the Swedish Open Cultural Heritage API.

Alvin, which the Uppsala University Library developed, is directed by a consortium consisting of the university libraries of Uppsala, Lund and Gothenburg. In addition to these, in 2021 there were 15 members and 15 institutions that have published material in Alvin, for a total of 30 organisations.

Contact person at Uppsala University is Lars Burman, Library Director at Uppsala University Library.

Web portal Alvin


Lars Burman, Library Director at University Library

Person som fotar av sidor i en gammal bok. En kamera och datorskärm syns på bilden. 

Foto: Magnus Hjalmarsson