Olof Karsvall

» Agrarian History at SLU.se (http://www NULL.slu NULL.se/institutioner/stad-land/forskning/ah/)

Olof Karsvall
Ph.D. / Agrarian Historian / Human Geographer / System Developer
Date of birth: 01.07.1980
Citizenship: Swedish
Postal Address: Riksarkivet, Box 12541, SE-102 29, Stockholm, Sweden
Home address: Kronobergsgatan 5, SE-112 38, Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 70 22 56 076
E-mail: olof.karsvall@slu.se / olof.karsvall@riksarkivet.se

I hold a PhD in Agrarian History, M.S. in Computer Science and a B.Soc.Sc in Human Geography. My doctoral thesis (2016) is titled Utjordar och ödegårdar: En studie i retrogressiv metod (Utjordar and Deserted Farms: A Study Using a Retrogressive Method). The thesis focuses on the Late Medieval Agrarian Crisis (c. 1350–1500) by an examination of uninhabited cadastral units (vacant holdings referred as ”utjord”) in 1500s Crown’s cadastres (tax registers) and 1600s geometrical maps. Data from 1 500 utjordar have been collected and registered in a GIS database. For a long time historians have assumed that the Nordic countries did not suffer any agrarian crisis during the Late Middle Ages, as proven in many other parts of Europe. I argue that utjordar provide new evidence for a major farm desertion in 1300s and 1400s that hit the grain production districts in eastern Sweden, the hamlets and villages, to a far greater extent than previously has been shown.

Since 2005, I have been working in two projects at the National Archives in Stockholm concerning the Swedish 1600’s geometrical maps. For this purpose I created a coordinate-based database and a search application, holding 12 000 maps and 100 000 data statistics and GIS data points (www.riksarkivet.se/geometriska (http://www NULL.riksarkivet NULL.se/geometriska)). Alongside my current PhD studies, I have been teaching at SLU (Landscape Analysis and GIS) and organized a scientific conference in 2012. I’m the creator and administer of www.agrarhistoria.se and www.bebyggelsehistoria.org (http://www NULL.bebyggelsehistoria NULL.org).

I have presented my research at about 20 conferences, including 9 at major international conferences. I have published 12 articles and book chapters, of which 5 in peer-review journals and I’m the editor of Medeltida storgårdar (2014).

Academic degrees
2010–2016. Ph.D. in Agrarian History, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics/Urban and Rural Development, Section of Agrarian History, Uppsala, Sweden. Supervisor: Prof. Janken Myrdal. Financed by The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet).
2010–2013. Doctoral courses 90 hp. The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).
2005. Master of Science (filosofie magisterexamen). 240 hp. Computer Science (Specialization: Informatics). School of Mathematics and Systems Engineering, Växjö University. Supervisor: Prof. Per Flensburg
2005. Bachelor of Social Science (filosofie kandidatexamen). 200 hp. Human Geography. School of Social Sciences, Växjö University. Supervisor: Prof. Tommy Book

Current employments/projects
2016–2017. Project leader (part time), TORA (Topografiskt register på Riksarkivet). Implementing a historical topographic register at the National Archives in Stockholm. Financed by The Royal Academy of Letters and The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation (Kungl. Vitterhetsakademien och Riksbankens Jubileumsfond).

2015–2016. Post-doctoral studies (part-time). Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Foundation (Handelsbanken) A project along with Janken Myrdal and Alf Ericsson. Here, we apply modern economic theory, especially Erik Dahmén theory of ‘development blocks’ (utvecklingsblock) on the medieval agrarian society. My contribution is a detailed survey of deserted farm recorded in Vadstena Abbey’s cadastres from late 15th century and other similar sources.

Competed projects
2010–2014. Database consultant: ”Younger Geometrical Maps”, National Archives, (Riksarkivet, Stockholm). Project leader: Clas Tollin. Financed by: Financed by The Royal Academy of letters and The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation. I was one of the initiators of a research project aiming to make a complete registration of the Swedish geometrical maps 1680–1700. I then worked as an affiliated consultant, providing expertise on the map database.

2012. Organizer of conference Medeltida storgårdar, 11 to 13 November in 2012 at the Royal Gustavus Adolphus Academy for Swedish Folk Culture in Uppsala.

2009–2010. Full time system developer: ”Historical GIS and database on Internet”. Project leader: Clas Tollin. Financed by: The Swedish Research Council. Development of web application; riksarkivet.se/geometriska (http://www NULL.riksarkivet NULL.se/geometriska)

2008. Research Assistant in Agrarian History, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (3 months). Preparatory work for doctoral thesis and research applications.

2005–2009. Full time Research Assistant. Project: ”National Edition of the Oldest Geometrical Maps” (“Nationalutgåva av de äldre geometriska kartorna”). National Archives. Project leader: Clas Tollin. Financed by The Royal Academy of Letters and The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation. The project aimed to make an inventory and scanning of all Swedish geometrical maps 1630–1655 along with a full transcription and a digital registration of all occurring map objects (farmsteads, mills etc) and statistics (eg. calculation of each farm arable size) recorded in the maps. Upon completion in 2010 the project got attention in national television and radio. In 2013 over 46 000 place names was added to the database, a work done by the Institute for Language and Folklore in Uppsala (SOFI) and myself thanks to funding from The Royal Academy of Letters.

2004–2005. Part-time Research Assistant. EU-project: Cross-Organisational Workflow Formation and Enactment (CrossWork). School of Mathematics and Systems Engineering (MSI). Växjö University. Project leader: Prof. Per Flensburg.

2004. Minor Field Studies (MFS). Financed (scholarship) by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). Field studies in Beijing, China (3 months) as part of Bachelor thesis in Human Geography.


Articles and book chapters
2016 Utjordar och ödegårdar. En studie i retrogressiv metod. SLU: Diss http://pub.epsilon.slu.se/13711/
(http://pub NULL.epsilon NULL.slu NULL.se/13711/)

2014 Åkerstorlek 1640 som indikator på stora medeltida bebyggelser. In: Medeltida storgårdar (KGAA, Acta Academiae Regiae Gustavi Adolphi).

2013 Retrogressiv metod: En översikt med exempel från historisk geografi och agrarhistoria. In: Historisk tidskrift 133:3, pp. 411–435.

2011 ”Utjordar” and the Question of Deserted Farms − a Case Study of the Parish of Svanshals. In: Bebyggelsehistorisk Tidskrift, vol. 61, 2011, pp. 22–38.

2011 Schwedens ältere geometrische Karten (1630–1655). In: Die schwedische Landesaufnahme von Pommern 1692–1709: Perspektiven eines Editionsprojekts. Busch, M. (eds.) 2011, p. 17–36 (together with Tollin, C.) (Pommerschen Landesmuseum, Greifswald, 9–10 oktober 2009).

2010 Sveriges äldre geometriska kartor. Bebyggelsehistorisk tidskrift, vol. 60, 2010, p. 94–103 (together with Tollin, C.)

2010 Bortom åker och äng – de äldsta lantmäterikartorna berättar. In: Nycklar till kunskap. Om människans bruk av naturen. Nr 3,2. Tunón, H. And Dahlström, A. (eds.). Skogs- och Lantbrukshistoriska meddelanden nr 48 & CBM:s skriftserie 34., pp. 213–223 (together with Nilsson, P.)

2009 Inventory methods for finding historically cultivated hop in Sweden (Humulus lupulus L.). In: Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution v. 57/2, Springer, pp. 219–227. (together with Strese E-M., Tollin, C.)

2008 Egendom på papper fatta. De äldre geometriska kartorna som historisk källa. In: Kartan i forskningens tjänst. Acta Academiae Regiae Gustavi Adolphi, vol CIV, pp. 57–74. (together with Tollin, C. and Höglund, M.)

2008 Utjordar och spår av ödelagda gårdar, in 1600-talets jordbrukslandskap. In: En introduktion till de äldre geometriska kartorna. Höglund, M. (ed.) pp. 56–64.

2008 Kartornas symboler – exempel på symboler för byggnader. In: 1600-talets jordbrukslandskap. En introduktion till de äldre geometriska kartorna. Höglund, M. (ed.) 2008, pp. 81–92.

2008 Åker och äng i Uppland på 1640-talet: angående uttrycket “äng är åkers moder” och relationen åker – äng. SLU (15 s.)

2007 Uninhabited cadastral units on large-scale maps 1630–1655: indicators of late medieval deserted farms? Landscape History 29, Hook, D. (ed.). Society for Landscape Studies. pp. 75–87.

2006 Projekt Nationalutgåva av de äldre geometriska kartorna. In: Fornvännen 2006:1, p. 32–33. (together with Tollin, C., Höglund, M.)

2005 Three ontological ideals – language, system and network ontologies in focus. MSI, Växjö University. (together with Möregårdh, M.) (Master thesis).

2005 The transformation of Beijing – A Study of Social and Spatial Consequences of Urban Housing. SVI, Växjö University. (Bachelor thesis).

2014 Editor (together with Kristofer Jupiter). Medeltida storgårdar (KGAA, Acta Academiae Regiae Gustavi Adolphi).

Book reviews
2008 Review of ”Kort som kilde : en håndbog om historiske kort og deres anvendelse / Peter Korsgaard” in Arkiv, samhälle och forskning 2008:1, s. 102–104.

In press
Deserted Farms and Settlement Changes in Sweden in the Late Middle Ages (peer-review article)

Presentations at Conferences/Seminars (selection)
2016 09 05 ”Solskifte” and the Constancy of the Regulated Hamlets on the Island of Öland.The Permanent European Conference for the Study of the Rural Landscape (PECSRL). Austrian Academy of Sciences. Innsbruck, Austria.

2016 03 31 ”Deserted Farms and Settlement Changes in Sweden in the Late Middle Ages”. Sowing the Seeds V: Measuring the Medieval Economy. University of Cambridge.

2014 05 08 ”Kammararkivets jordeböcker under äldre Vasatid”. Session: Att koordinera historien. Svenska historikermötet, Stockholm. (forthcoming)

2013 11 13 “Utjordar och ödeläggelse i östra Sverige under senmedeltid fram till mitten av 1600-talet”. PhD final seminar (3/4). Uppsalas högre seminarium i agrarhistoria. Opponent: Jan Brunius.

2013 08 21 ”The Total Registration of Farms in Sweden 1530–1630”. Special session: “Cadastral sources from Scandinavia as gateway to Rural History”. Rural History, Bern, Schweiz.

2013 07 01 “The Swedish land survey of hamlets and farms in 17th century”. The 25th International Conference on the History of Cartography (ICHC), Helsinki, Finland.

2012 12 03 “1600-talets storskaliga kartor – ett världsarv blir tillgängligt”. Seminariet för nordisk namnforskning, Uppsala.

2012 10 24 “Utjordar i geometriska kartor och jordeböcker”. PhD half time seminar. Uppsalas högre seminarium i agrarhistoria. Opponent: Pia Nilsson, RAÄ.

2012 08 10 “The Island of Öland during the 1600′s – A favourable but exposed location in the Baltic Sea”. The 15th International Conference of Historical Geographers (ICHG). Prague, Czechia.

2012 05 23 “Delresultat om utjordar och ödeläggelse på Öland 1640-1690″. Karl XI:s och reduktionens landskap. Tvärvetenskapligt seminarium kring de yngre geometriska     kartorna. Vitterhetsakademien, Stockholm.

2011 09 29 “Historisk-Geografisk BasTabell (HGBT) ett sätt att sammankoppla historiska och rumsligt orienterade databaser”. Källflöden digitalisering av för- och tidigmodernt forskningsmaterial. Göteborgs Universitet. Faculty of Arts.

2010 08 27 “Uninhabited cadastral units or utjordar – new aspects on the Agrarian Crisis in Sweden during the Late Middle Ages and 17th century”. Special session: The Agrarian Landscape 1000-1800. The Permanent European Conference for the Study of the Rural Landscape (PECSRL). Liepaja, Latvia.

2009 11 16 “Utjordar i geometriska kartor och jordeböcker samt befolkningsräkningar – nya perspektiv på agrarkriser under senmedeltid och 1600-tal”. Arbete som handling. WORKshop. Filosofiska institutionen, Uppsala University.

2009 10 02 “Historical-Geographic Basic Table”. An idea of a shared historic-geographical database based on x-y coordinates”. Die schwedische Landesaufnahme von Pommern 1692-1709. Pommerschen Landesmuseum. Greifswald, Germany.

2009 08 27 “Social and economical differences within the Swedish farming society during first half of 17th century according to the large-scale maps”. The 14th International Conference of Historical Geographers (ICHG). Kyoto University. Kyoto, Japan.

2008 09 05 “17th century large-scale maps as a source to the Late Medieval Agrarian Crisis c 1350-1420”. The Permanent European Conference for the Study of the Rural Landscape (PECSRL). Obidos, Portugal.

2008 09 11 “Utjordar i de äldre geometriska kartorna 1633–1650”. Uppsala’s senior seminar on Agrarian History. SLU. Uppsala.

2008 10 16 “Äldre geometriska kartor som källa till utjordar och den senmedeltida agrarkrisen”. Nationalutgåva av de äldre geometriska kartorna. Kungl. Vitterhetsakademien.  Stockholm.

2007 03 22 “1600-talets landskap utifrån de äldre storskaliga kartorna – att möjliggöra forskning på över 12 000 kartbilder”. Kartdagarna. Jönköping.

2006 09 09 “Swedish large-scale maps, 1630–1655: How to make the oldest geometrical maps available for research; examples on spatial and thematic comparisons on the basis of large information quantities”. The Permanent European Conference for the Study of the Rural Landscape (PECSRL). Freie University. Berlin.

Scholarships and travel grants
The Swedish Research Council (VR)
The Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography (SSAG)
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (KVA)
The Scandinavia-Japan Sasakawa Foundation
The Royal Gustavus Adolphus Academy for Swedish Folk Culture (KGAA)
The Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry (KSLA)
Helge Ax:son Johnsons stiftelse
Wallenbergs Stiftelse (SLU)
Stiftelsen Markussens Studiefond
Stiftelsen Elisabeth och Herman Rhodins Minne (SU)

Database and programming skills: php, asp, html, css, xml, javascript, sql, MySQL, database modelling, linked data technologies (api, rdf), GIS. Applications: ArcGIS, QGIS, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, InDesign and experienced in filming and video editing using Final Cut Pro. Creator and webmaster of www.agrarhistoria.se, www.bebyggelsehistoria.org (http://www NULL.bebyggelsehistoria NULL.org) and www.riksarkivet.se/geometriska (http://www NULL.riksarkivet NULL.se/geometriska).