pre-seminar to ISHTIP 2019

Both PASSIM PI Eva Hemmungs Wirtén and Doctoral candidate Isabelle Strömstedt will be presenting papers at the forthcoming ISHTIP workshop in Australia, between July 4-6, 2019. Hosted this year by Isabella Alexander at University of Technology, Sydney, ISHTIP has become an important interdisciplinary venue for scholars whose work engages with intellectual property, both historically and in the present. This year’s theme, “IP and the visual,” promises to be a very stimulating one. On May 22, 2019, PASSIM organizes a “pre-ISHTIP” seminar where our two ISHTIP participants will discuss their papers and talk about their current research. Eva Hemmungs Wirtén’s paper is entitled “Evidence, Envelopped: Something on Proof, Priority and Patents (but not necessarily in that order)” och Isabelle Strömstedt’s “Celebrating Patents: the Swedish Patent Office’s Jubilee Exhibition of 1941.” The seminar will take place at Tema Q, Tvärsnittet, Norrköping, between 13.15-15.00. What do envelopes and exhibitions have to do with patents? That’s what we’ll talk about at the seminar.

Eva ISHTIP abstract

Isabelle ISHTIP abstract

Post-May 7th seminar/webinar thoughts

Matts Lindström


Last week, on May 7th 2019, we had our first PASSIM seminar. This was a first for us, at least in the sense of doing a seminar and webinar at the same time. José Bellido and Matts Lindström’s discussion on microfilm was an excellent illustration of how rich the intersection between technologies of law and technologies of media can be, an intersection that PASSIM explores in different ways and different historical periods. Matts opened the seminar with a sweeping and informative overview of the microfilm’s relationship to the fragility of paper and to the industrialization of information, aspects that are crucial in trying to understand the past but also the present of a media technology that appears almost extinct. José’s more PASSIM-oriented talk showed how microfilm intervenes in a particular practice and institution – the patent office and in the work of patent examiners. Fascinating stuff! You can enjoy the dialogue between our two presenters and also the questions and discussion that followed on our website:


Getting ready to broadcast. In socks.

José Bellido





“How Patents Became Documents, or Dreaming of Technoscientific Order, 1895-1937”

Eva Hemmungs Wirtén’s first article in the PASSIM-project: “How Patents Became Documents, or Dreaming of Technoscientific Order, 1895-1937” is now published in Journal of Documentation (2019) Vol 75 Issue 3, pp 577-592,. DOI:

In it, and based on Paul Otlet’s 1937 image of the mountain range of documents to the left (where patents are one among seven types of informational inclines), she argues:

“Patents are indistinguishable from the
structures of the information age; indeed, they have helped build these structures in the first
place, producing their own administrative and expertise communities, straddling the
national and the international, becoming dependent on systems of classification, sorting and
ordering, as indeed, acting every bit as the social texts that they are.
Simply put, more research is warranted on the embeddedness – historical as well as
contemporary – of patents in informational systems. Such embeddedness has been
constitutive of the patent system for more than a century but still remains




Laboratorium Mundaneum: Powerhouse of Documentation. [December 28, 1937] (Mons, Mundaneum EUM 8694©)

PASSIM seminar: “Microfilm, Law and Scientific Information,” on May 7, 2019

Download pdf-flyer with more info about the PASSIM Seminar on May 7, 2019

Join us for this first PASSIM series of webcasts and webinars. A live webcast of the seminar will be aired online via our own channels.
You will be able to ask our speakers questions in real-time during the webinar. Online participation open for everyone and free of
charge. We encourage you to invite friends or colleagues by sharing this link:
Make sure you follow our twitter for updates! @PASSIMproject
Tuesday, 7 May 2019 15.15-17.00 (CET). Reception to follow. Tvärsnittet, Kopparhammaren, Norrköping.