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Digitally digging for Stockholm graves

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14:05 CEST+02:00
Wondering where your distant Swedish relatives are buried? Or perhaps where Ingrid Bergman was laid to rest? Well, now you can dig for graves digitally, on a web site launched this week which covers half a million graves in the Swedish capital.

Stockholm's eleven public cemeteries are included in the project, which has taken a year and a half to bring to life.

"We previously digitalised the administration and booking of graves to make things cheaper and more effective," explained Anton Sandström, who led the project for the Cemetery Administration.

"Then we realised that it could also be used on the Internet for those who don't really know where their relatives are buried."

With a few mouse clicks it will be possible to search, for example, for Stockholmers who since 1827 have been buried at the Norra cemetery. Among them you might stumble across numerous cultural and scientific greats, such as August Strindberg and Alfred Nobel.

At the famous Skogskyrkogården, or Woodland Cemetery, which was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, you can find the sports legend Nacka Skoglund and Greta Garbo.

Even people whose graves no longer exist have been included in the database.

"Where the grave rights have been transferred to someone else, you will be told of that, and if there is a stone marking someone other than the person you're looking for. But you'll get exact information on where the person you're seeking was buried," said Sandström.

Graves managed by the Jewish community and the Catholic church are not included in the database, since they are not administered by Stockholm Council, which is behind the project. Nor are a few other smaller, privately-run cemeteries included.

Nevertheless, Sandström believes the scheme will be a big hit.

"Genealogical research has become more and more popular. This is a service which will delight everyone in the Stockholm area," he said.

The service will go online on April 8th.

Louis Roper

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