Thora Maria Fredrika Hildegard Björck (1 May 1847 – 7 April 1920) was the first Swedish woman to complete an academic degree. She is today considered a female academic pioneer in Sweden. Björck received the opportunity to enlist and graduate with degrees from both Lund and Uppsala. She also had an interest in literature and worked against prostitution.
Hildegard Björck was born on 1 May 1847 in Bro, Värmland. She was the daughter of surveyor Carl Emanuel Björck and his wife Anna Charlotte Roman. Anna died when Hildegard was just four years old and her father died in 1869 when she was 22 years old. The year after her father's death an opportunity arose for Swedish women to get a studentexamen, and Hildegard Björck was one of the first to take the opportunity. She graduated from the Nya Elementar-school in Stockholm in June 1872 and the following year entered Uppsala University graduating with a medico-philosophy degree in 1873 and a medicine degree in 1879. In the spring of 1880, Björck was accepted at Lund University. But after suffering from measles and additional hearing problems, she stopped her studies and never became a licensed doctor.
Björck became an informal assistant doctor to anatomy professor Carl Fredrik Naumann, and her part uncle who was a medicine doctor who lived in Stockholm. After both men died from old age, Björck worked as a private carer to a number of individuals in France and England. One of them, Julia Ewelöf, became a close friend and they lived together in Lausanne in the same dwelling until Björck's death on 7 April 1920.
- Hypokrates kjolar Archived 4 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Ergo.ronne.se.
- Folkräkningen 1890. Värmlands län, Karlstads stads: Maria Fredrika Hildegard Björck f. 1847 Archived 5 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Umeå University Library.
- Studentlivet förändrar ditt liv. UNT.se. Archived 14 September 2013 at Archive.today
- "Den bortglömda studentskan : 140 år sedan Hildegard Björck beträdde den akademiska banan". Lunds University. (6 September 2013). Archived 4 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- "Digitaliserade svenska dagstidningar Archived 4 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine". Kungl. biblioteket - National Library of Sweden.
- Nilsson, Ulrika. (5 December 2003) Kampen om Kvinnan: Professionaliseringsprocesser och konstruktioner av kön i svensk gynekologi 1860-1925 (The Politics of Woman: Professionalisation Processes and Constructions of Gender in Swedish Gynaecology, 1860-1925). Academia.edu.
- "Professorsinstallation Archived 4 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine". Lunds University.