Photo credits:
Johan Wahlgren

Linn Holmberg

Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, SCAS.
Researcher in History of Ideas, Stockholm University

Linn Holmberg earned her PhD in History of Science and Ideas from Umeå University in 2014. Her
dissertation, The Forgotten Encyclopedia, received the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History
and Antiquities’ award for prize-worthy dissertations in 2015 as well as Johan Nordström’s and
Sten Lindroth’s prize for scholarly excellence in 2016.

Holmberg’s research is broadly concerned with information management in early modern Europe.
She is especially interested in the emergence of the encyclopedic dictionary and its role in transforming
and democratizing knowledge.

Her interest in encyclopedias took form during her PhD studies, when she explored the history of an
encyclopedic enterprise in mid-eighteenth-century Paris, led by Benedictine scholars at the same time
as Diderot and D’Alembert compiled the famous Encyclopédie. Unlike the philosophers, however, the
monks never finished or published their work. By using handwriting analysis, comparative literature
studies, and extensive archival detective work, Holmberg reconstructed the monks’ working process
and ended up unearthing a hitherto unknown rival of the Encyclopédie, which ultimately challenged
the latter’s position in narratives about the French Enlightenment. In her postdoctoral projects, she
has continued exploring encyclopedic projects in eighteenth-century Scandinavia.

Holmberg is the author of The Maurists’ Unfinished Encyclopedia (2017) and co-editor with Maria
Simonsen of Stranded Encyclopedias: Broken Dreams of Complete Knowledge, 1700–2000 (forth-
coming from Palgrave McMillan, 2021).

As a Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, she is working on a project entitled ‘Dictionary Craze: Transforming
Knowledge across Early Modern Europe’, in which she traces the emergence of the encyclopedic
dictionary seen from the European periodical press (c. 1665–1800) and explores how the genre trans-
formed the ways in which knowledge was conceptualized, consumed, and debated across European
societies.


Linn Holmberg is in residence at the Collegium in the academic year 2020-21.
This information is accurate as of the academic year 2020-21.