Nils Blomkvist was born in Motala – a small-town by Lake Vättern in central Sweden – in 1943, and after humanistic studies at the University of Uppsala, he graduated in 1979 on a monography of the medieval city of Kalmar up until the mid-fourteenth century. After that he was working as an archivist for some 10 years (head of Archives at Nordiska museet, Stockholm) followed by some 8 years at Riksantikvarieämbetet (National Board of Antiquities) and went finally (1996) to Gotland University, sharing his time between Gotland Centre for Baltic Studies (a scholarly institute) and the Department of History (teaching), being appointed Professor of History in 2004.
As a researcher he has focused on the Europeanisation process of the Baltic Rim, covering the period AD 750-1500. Already his doctoral thesis awoke some interest among researchers of the Hanse, and he is a member of the Hansischer Geschichtsverein since 1980. By generous support from the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation he was able to form the multinational and interdisciplinary research project Culture Clash or Compromise, subtitled The Importance of Regional Survival Strategies in the Europeanisation of the Baltic Rim (AD 1100-1400). This so called CCC-project was occupying some 20 scholars – archaeologists, historians and geographers representing seven countries on the Rim and its results are presented in 11 volumes of CCC papers.
For Blomkvist's central contribution to the project, see The Discovery of the Baltic (Brill, The Northern World, Leiden & Boston 2005, 775 pp.). After retirement in 2010, his interests remain the same. From later years a fully commented Swedish translation of Första Novgorod-krönikan (First Novgorod Chronicle) in co-operation with Gun Eile and Gotland museum is to be highlighted (2016), as well as a monography of – “Sveriges första författare” – the Gotlandic 13th-century Dominican friar Petrus de Dacia (Norma 2019).