Kriminalpolisen i Malmö FIa:7 (1882-1882) Image 154 / page 143 (AID: v97414.b154.s143, NAD: SE/MSA/00453) Link.
As a researcher, it is often easy to find many written documents about one’s ancestors. On the other hand, it is often difficult to know what they looked like or to find a portrait. If you happen to have an ancestor who was a criminal, you may be in luck. Many of the earliest Swedish photographs show prisoners.
You will find a number of volumes titled, “Portrait of released prisoners” in the archive Kriminalpolisen i Malmö. These volumes include portraits of prisoners released from prisons throughout Sweden for the period 1876-1910. You can find a name searchable register of the released prisoners on the Swedish side of our website by clicking here.
In the picture above we see the laborer, Carl Jakob Åström, who was released from Långholmen prison in 1882. While the photo is in black and white, a physical description of the prisoner is written to the left of the photo. Here we see that Carl has brown hair (här: brunt), blue eyes (ögon: blå), straight nose (näsa: rak), ordinary mouth (mun: ordinär), pale skin (hy: blek), 5.45 feet tall (höjd: 5.45 fot) and a strong body build (kroppsbyggnad: stark). On the top of the page you will find more details about Carl’s life along with information about the crime that he committed. In this case, it was his fourth time for stealing.