“Maaret Koskinen, Associate Professor of Cinema Studies, Stockholm university, and renowned Bergman scholar, had barely spoken to Ingmar Bergman until she contacted him regarding the publication of one of his early prose texts. In the midst of the conversation he said, almost in passing: “Listen, I have a room here at Fårö [his home, a small island in the Baltic Sea]. It’s about five by five metres square, and I have collected all kinds of stuff there. It’s a hell of a mess. Would you care to take a look at it?”
On arrival, Dr. Koskinen quickly realised that this ”mess” was an absolute goldmine. The collection contained private letters, business correspondence, notebooks and photographs. But above all, there were piles of drafts and scripts with hand-written director’s notes for both films and stage productions, as well as completely unknown plays, short stories and even an opera libretto written by a very young Bergman. Besides, behind-the-scenes footage relating to eighteen of his films have been donated to the archive, including The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries and Scenes from a Marriage.
Maaret Koskinen informed Åse Kleveland, by then CEO of the Swedish Film Institute, of her findings. Ms. Kleveland presented with Bergman a plan for the preservation and administration of this unique collection. As a result, the archive was donated to the newly founded Ingmar Bergman Foundation, consisting of the Swedish Film Institute, the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Sveriges Television and AB Svensk Filmindustri.
Now supplemented by preserved material from his work at the Royal Dramatic Theatre, the collection is located on the premises of the Swedish Film Institute.
The mammoth task of identifying and cataloguing the extensive material is now well under way, and in 2007 a research database will be presented which will be accessible from the website Ingmar Bergman Face to Face.”