The Royal Gustavus Adolphus Academy for Swedish Folk Culture was founded on November 6, 1932. Its initiator was Professor of Scandinavian place names research at Uppsala University, Jöran Sahlgren. He also became the Academy's first secretary. The Academy's first president was the historian, jurist and politician K. G. Westman.
According to its statutes , the mission of the Academy is to promote research on Swedish folk culture, and by its actions and journals make public research findings, initiate and support scientific studies, organize seminars, symposia and field trips, as well as through scholarships and rewards stimulate scientific activity. Gustav II Adolf's name is firmly bonded to the Academy because of the famous memorial to antiquarians and historians issued by the king on May 20, 1630. The Memorial, written by Johannes Bureus, called for an inventory of all that the country could offer regarding knowledge of the past, ancient monuments and manuscripts, customs, legends and songs, words and names. It can be said to constitute our first program of ethnological study.