Work is in progress at the Library to publish the handwritten manuscripts from the Riksdag of the Estates in printed form. Photo: Melker Dahlstrand It was during the Middle Ages that a parliamentary system first started to emerge in Sweden. In the 15th century a Riksdag of the Estates took shape with the Nobility, Clergy, Burghers and Peasantry. The four estates met individually and wrote their own records. When the Riksdag celebrated its 500th anniversary in 1935, it was decided that the handwritten records from the Riksdag of the Estates in the 17th and 18th centuries would be published in printed form. This work is still continuing. Today, twelve records from the Estate of the Clergy and the Estate of the Burghers remain. Records preserved from 1627 The records of the estates are preserved from 1627 onwards. For all four estates, there are records from 1720 onwards. The handwritten records are currently kept at the National Archives in Stockholm. The Nobility, Burghers and Peasantry all chose to print their records as early as 1786, while the Clergy did not start to print their records until 1810. The Riksdag of the Estates was abolished in 1866. The printed records are primarily targeted at researchers but also at interested members of the public. As individual members of the Estates feature significantly in the records, the records are a goldmine for genealogists, local historians and others wishing to find individual people, places or specific items of parliamentary business. The records deal with the history of both Sweden and the Riksdag. From handwritten to printed records The printed records are based on the handwritten records of the Riksdag of the Estates, which were written in a type of italic Gothic. The secretary wrote a draft record directly after the meeting, similar to today's preliminary record. On the next occasion, this record was read to the Estate and adjusted. After the end of the Riksdag, a fair copy was made on the basis of the adjusted draft record. During the publication process, the draft records have been compared with the fair copies and annotations made in footnotes where there are discrepancies. The notes also include references to the documents mentioned in the text so that it will be easy to obtain them from the archives for further study. In order to facilitate their use, there are comprehensive indexes too. All personal and place names are included in the register, and there is also a subject index with a large number of search terms. A selection of the documents discussed in the records is included in annexes.