In 2016 we celebrated the sestercentennial – 250th! – anniversary for the adoption of legal guarantees for freedom of information and a free press in Sweden. In 1766, Swedish parliament abolished censorship of books and newspapers and required authorities to provide public access to all official records with the passing of ”His Majesty’s Gracious Ordinance Relating to Freedom of Writing and of the Press”.
The website Frittord250.se served as a node for sharing information about activities and providing access to resources in celebration of these 250 year old freedoms of information and free press in Sweden. Various governmental agencies, NGO’s, interest groups and individuals marked the celebratory year 2016 with a rich program aimed at drawing attention to free speech and the right of access to information in Sweden and in the global community, historically, today and tomorrow. Frittord250 serves also as a repository for documentation of activities surrounding the celebratory year 2016. Resources ranging from introductory background texts and primary source materials are compiled, and contact information for individuals who have expressed willingness to provide some form of guidance in the planning of activities is provided as well.
Frittord250 is a website which was administrated by the National Library of Sweden in 2015–2016, with the support of a large network of interest groups and individuals who made use of it for spreading the word about activities and other festivities marking the Swedish jubilee for the freedoms of press and right of access to information.
Jonas Nordin and Kate Parson at the National Library of Sweden were the editors of this website.
The 1766 Freedom of Print Act can be found in English translation here.
The Swedish Riksdag’s (parliament’s) official volume collecting new studies on the past and present status of freedom of print in Sweden and Finland can be downloaded here.