Our History

The Swedish National Heritage Board is one of Sweden’s oldest government agencies.  The office was instituted on 20 May 1630 by King Gustavus Adolphus. The first riksantikvarie (”National Antiquarian”) was Johannes Bureus. The title corresponds with director general in other government agencies.

On the 20 May that 1630 Johannes Bureus, who was a prominent rune researcher and King Gustavus Adolphus’ private teacher, was appointed the first riksantikvarie (”National Antiquarian”).

Bureus’ teachings had made the king interested in ancient monuments and national heritage sites and artifacts, at that time called ”antiquities”. Together with a priest and a young student, Bureus went on a journey though Sweden to draw and document runestones, collect old coins, chronicles, law books, letter and manuscripts.

Since then, 31 persons have held the position of riksantikvarie:

  • Lars Amréus 2012–
  • Inger Liliequist 2003–2012
  • Erik Wegræus 1993–2003
  • Margareta Biörnstad 1987–1993
  • Roland Pålsson 1972–1987
  • Sven B.F. Jansson 1966–1972
  • Gösta Selling 1960–1966
  • Bengt Thordeman 1952–1960
  • Martin Olsson 1946–1952
  • Sigurd Curman 1923–1946
  • Bernhard Salin 1913–1923
  • Oscar Montelius 1907–1913
  • Hans Hildebrand 1879–1907
  • Bror Emil Hildebrand 1837–1879
  • Johan Gustaf Liljegren 1826–1837
  • Carl Birger Rutström 1820–1826
  • Jonas Hallenberg 1803–1819
  • Georg Frans Tihleman 1795–1802
  • Johan David Flintenberg 1793–1795
  • Gudmund Jöran Adlerbeth 1778–1793
  • Carl Reinhold Berch 1750–1777
  • Johan Helin 1725–1750
  • Johan Fredrik Peringskiöld 1720–1725
  • Johan Peringskiöld 1693–1719
  • Johan Hadorph 1679–1693
  • Jacob Reenhielm 1675–1678
  • Olaus Verelius 1666–1675
  • Laurentius Bureus 1657–1665
  • Johan Axehielm 1652–1657
  • Georg Stiernhielm 1648–1651
  • Johannes Bureus 1630–1648