The Christmas serial became an important holiday tradition in Sweden in the early 20th century and is still popular today. These annuals, magazines, books, recordings, and even games are published and sold by commercial, religious and other non-profit organizations annually at Christmas time. This exhibit Jul and Yule... displays Christmas books and magazines from publishers in Sweden and Swedish-America. In Christmas serials readers found articles, essays, bible stories, fiction, photographs and other work by popular artists of the day.
The first Christmas serials to make a significant impact on the market were published by larger book or magazine publishers, such as, Bonnier, Åhlèn & Åkerlund, and Semic. Swedish immigrants in America embraced the tradition and Swedish-American publishers began to come out with Christmas annuals in the Swedish tradition. Churches in Sweden and the United States published them as well, many geared toward children and younger audiences.
Selling Christmas magazines became a way for youngsters between the ages of nine and fifteen to earn spending money for the holidays. Children received a third of the cover price and could earn bonus prizes.
The exhibit is on display outside the Archives in the lower level of Brandel Library from December 2011 through February 2012. Watch for new posts each day in December featuring items from the exhibit.